Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

America

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

Published

on

3,268 Views

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.

 

 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
7 Comments

7
Leave a Reply

avatar
7 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
JackLarry TateJNDillardtomBrad Golding Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jack
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Brad Golding

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

John Vu
Guest
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 »

Latest

New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

Published

on

Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending