Links and Comments: Tribal Loyalty and Values v. Reality

NY Times: The 15 Best-Educated Congressional Districts in the U.S..

All but two of which, including the just contested Georgia district north of Atlanta, are solidly Democratic. Hmm.


Also: Trump’s Lies, a comprehensive, up-to-date list. It’s not surprising that Trump lies (or at least shades what he says to fit the moment, or the crowd, without any concern for intellectual honesty or self-consistency), it’s that so many people, still, don’t seem to care.


And they don’t care because politics is about tribal loyalty and subjective ‘values’, not recognition or reality or respect for truth.

Vox, Matthew Yglesias: he health bill might pass because Trump has launched the era of Nothing Matters politics, subtitled, “When in doubt, lie and distract.”

The watchwords of Trump-era politics are “LOL nothing matters.” If you’re in a jam, you just lie about it. If you’re caught in an embarrassing situation, you create a new provocation and hope that people move on. Everything is founded, most of all, on the assumption that the basic tribal impulses of negative partisanship will keep everyone on their side, while knowing that gerrymandering means Republicans will win every toss-up election. If you happened to believe that Republicans in office would deliver on their health care promises, well, you might be interested in a degree from Trump University.

And, Slate, Food Evolution Is Scientifically Accurate. Too Bad It Won’t Convince Anyone., subtitled, “The new documentary misses that the debate over GMOs isn’t about facts. It’s about values.”

When the topic of GMOs comes up at dinner parties, I am the skunk who will gently remind everyone of everything Tyson says about GMO safety in Food Evolution. I have a litany of facts and studies that I cite. After listening politely and patting me on the head like a child out of his depth, they always checkmate me with, “What about Monsanto?”

It’s hard to overstate the significance of that albatross on the GMO debate. …

Of course, the reality is that it is possible for Monsanto to be terrible and for GMOs to still be safe. …


Via, Laura Huss at Rewire: Study: Anti-Abortion State Laws Deny Science, subtitled, “Are you surprised? A recent Guttmacher Institute report systematically documents anti-choice laws and the research that debunks their claims.”

Because conservatives and the faithful *know* things to be so, no matter any evidence otherwise.


Yet it’s that this is essentially *tribalistic* thinking — not motivated by faith — is the only way I can understand the paradox captured in this article.

Forward Progressives: A 5-Step Guide: Explaining Christianity to Republicans, by Allen Clifton.

The five steps (with paragraphs of explanation):

  1. Help the helpless, provide for the needy
  2. Be kind to others and don’t judge those who are different than you.
  3. Be hopeful
  4. Don’t be a hypocrite
  5. Stop being driven by greed

I will quote his expansion of item #3, since it resonates with the quote from LA Times at the bottom of this post, about how NRA conventioneers are so motivated by fear. Here’s Clifton (with his links retained):

Republicans are nothing if not paranoid and afraid of damn near everything. From immigrants invading the United States, to Muslims enacting Sharia law to President Obama confiscating guns – I could spend hours dissecting how many conspiracies I’ve seen Republicans perpetuate over the years and how none of them actually came true. Besides, as people of faith, what’s there to be so scared of? If you truly have faith that God’s in control, shouldn’t your faith always be that blanket of hope that guides you through life? I’m not quite sure how someone can say they have the utmost faith in their God – while seemingly having no faith in that same God’s “plan.”

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