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Poll shows Americans don’t think for themselves

Americans perceive public policy as good or bad not based on its merits or lack thereof, but based on whether their favored politicians backs it

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A recent survey conducted by Reuters shows how many Americans base their support or opposition to a given political stance not on the soundness of the policy, but based on whether or not it comes with the backing of a favored or disfavored political authority.

The present situation surrounding the breaking up of migrant families at the border is a case in point. Support and opposition for Trump’s policy on the matter seems to come largely from either a desire to defend Donald Trump or from a desire to oppose him in some way. That there are moral issues to be solved here and problems created not just for the migrants, but also for the judicial system, highlighting the corporate cronyism in America, seems to be lacking in consideration.

Those supporting it even go to lengths of manufacturing disinformation about its origin and history, as well as ill conceived notions about the nature of crime and punishment. The mechanics of the policy itself, its implications, and the moral predicament which it imposes are by and large ignored, or speciously justified, while support for the policy seems to stem from a desire to defend their partisan leader’s policies. The public’s reaction to this policy demonstrates in yet another way the manner in which Americans perceive political policies, that is not on the merits of the policy, or lack thereof, but based on their political persuasions and the personality cult attached to their favored politician.

Intellectual Takeout observes:

It is generally believed that America is more polarized than ever. After all, one need only look at the fallout from the last election to test this theory: both liberals and conservatives are convinced that their ideas and principles are the best and should be followed.

But a recent survey by Reuters casts a bit of doubt on how well people really know their own minds and understand the political principles they say they adhere to. It appears that many Americans base their views on whether a particular authority figure holds them.

As Reuters explains, surveyors read a variety of political statements which Donald Trump made on the campaign trail to mixed groups of Republicans and Democrats. One group was told that each statement was made by Trump; the other omitted that important detail. In almost every case, Democrat support for the statement decreased when Trump’s name was attached, while Republican support increased.

Government-run health care is a prime example of this. When asked if government should take care of everyone, 68 percent of Democrats agreed. Only 33 percent of Republicans did the same. But when Trump’s name was thrown into the ring, both parties had a sudden change of heart. Democrats in particular exhibited a 20 percent drop in support for government-run health care.

 A similar scenario unfolded when respondents were asked about American exceptionalism. When told that Donald Trump believed that American exceptionalism is insulting to people from other countries, Republicans displayed a dramatic jump in agreement with the president. Democrats, however, demonstrated another 20 percent drop in support for the idea.

 Such outcomes shouldn’t be surprising given the vitriol which has surrounded presidential politics of late. Nevertheless, such outcomes are a bit alarming, for they clearly demonstrate that a good chunk of the American public do not make decisions based on thoughtful, informed reasoning. Instead, they pick a public figure they like (or dislike) and move with him (or away from him) as the winds may blow.

This situation is far from healthy for the American government. As Thomas Jefferson once noted, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone.” To avoid this scenario, Jefferson insisted the American public must be equipped with sound and well-educated minds:

“The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.”

Sadly, the improvement of American minds isn’t happening in today’s schools. Many students cannot distinguish between fact and opinion; instruction in logic and critical thinking, while given lip-service, seem to have disappeared from schools; and only 12 percent of the nation’s high school seniors are proficient in history, the subject which lays the groundwork for American government.

If America’s schools are not teaching students to be independent, well-reasoned, and educated thinkers, is it any wonder that the American public is so easily swayed in their political beliefs and opinions?

The mainstream media has a hand in this process, however, steering the public to accept or oppose a given action or policy, instead of just reporting the news. The issue of a US president meeting with the North Korean leader is another example. When Obama broached the topic, the right slammed it furiously. Now, when Trump goes to do the same thing, the right wing media loves the idea, while this time, it’s the MSM on the left which is voicing opposition for something which they promoted under the previous democratic presidential administration.

Remember how the left painted President Bush as a bad guy for his actions in the Middle East? But Obama bombed and overthrew even more countries than his Republican predecessor did, but when it comes to this, all one hears on the left is crickets. Ever notice how abortion and identity politics are touted as major reasons for voting republican in every election cycle, but, once in power, the Republicans go on to do nothing about it, even when they have control over both the legislative and executive branches of government? But once the Democrats are back in power, they’re major issues all over again. Because as long those issues persist, there’s a reason to vote Republican and a reason not to focus on economic issues and major corporate and government corruption on the ground level impacting every American of every political persuasion.

 

 

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JackLarry TateJNDillardtomBrad Golding Recent comment authors
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Jack
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Jack

Over period of several decads majority of societies of westerners stopped thinking rationaly because they have been bribed by those who hold their minds at randsom. Secondly migration issue is totally artificial driven by a cabal who wants to change the order of the world for their own end only. There is no justification for migration at all in millions as we are witnessing it nowadays whether it is Europe or America. The key to stop this procedure of killing our white culture and heritage is to have right wing Govs. with strong borders and banned visa free movement.

Larry Tate
Guest

This is a direct copy from a FB post I made: This source is tremendous for a radical centrist perspective. This article should be required reading for… whomever. This is the danger of hyperpolarization and is so very important to be aware of and to fight against, for the sake of peace and love (as Ringo would say). From the article: “Americans perceive public policy as good or bad not based on its merits or lack thereof, but based on whether their favored politicians back it.” For me it’s the reverse, I perceive public policy as good or bad based… Read more »

JNDillard
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JNDillard

Reuters and Sellers and the Duran are providing a valuable public service by bringing this information to the public. However, the scope is too narrow. I believe it it were reproduced globally we would find that it is true everywhere – people don’t think for themselves anywhere. They follow the lead of “trusted” opinion makers. Of course this is idiocy, but it is understandable. But living in Germany, I see it as much here, implying it is world-wide.

tom
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tom

A well-written and persuasively argued thesis. It’s clear enough to anyone intelligent and moderately well educated that democracy is just a word with lots of sex appeal and little or no real meaning. Logically it derives from the Greek “kratia” (power) and “demos” (the people, in a political sense). The name was carefully chosen instead of, for instance, the more obvious “pollarchy” (the rule of the many, as opposed to “oligarchy”, the rule of the few). Even in ancient Greece, where democracy was carried to far greater lengths than anywhere in modern times, its limitations were glaringly obvious. Over and… Read more »

Brad Golding
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Brad Golding

Australians are getting to be much the same from what I see here!

John Vu
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John Vu

And the whole of Russia has only one capable – or strong – man to run the country for 24 years and maybe more.

Flem
Guest
Flem

Here’s how the Republican Party works in the U.S. They can’t win without votes. And, their policies only benefit a few percent of the population (the 1%). They couldn’t survive without people voting against their own interests, so they go after the politically ignorant by avoiding the issues (which would cause them to lose) and focus on emotional charged fake/non-issues. “They’re going to take your guns!” “Abortion” “They’re going to ban religion!” They live and die by the ignorant vote. Turns out it’s not hard to get ignorant people to vote against their interests when you can lead them to… Read more »

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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