How About Some Fact-Based Thinking?


Why are so many of the bedrock principles of the rural-suburban right wing based on misinformation, distortions or bald-faced lies?  Consider these following cornerstones of current conservative thought:


  1. That global warming does not exist and that what warming is occurring does not result from human actions
  2. That private sector solutions are always better than the intervention of government
  3. That people are safer when everyone carries a loaded handgun around
  4. That locking people up deters crime more than rehabilitation
  5. Everything in the U.S. is better than in Western Europe and the rest of the developed world


Repeated studies by multiple groups have disproved all five of these conservative beliefs:

  • Global warning is occurring and human activity is a primary cause
  • The government has done a better job than the private sector in several areas, including prison management, pensions and health care.
  • Studies show that more people are killed by ordinary citizens or friendly fire than by robbers and other criminals year after year, meaning people are less safe with more guns in society
  • Again, study results virtually always favor rehabilitation, just as they favor therapy over prison for drug offenders
  • We have the worst health care system in the developed world, more expensive than any western European country, with higher infant mortality rates and lower life spans.  Europe also has better mass transit and more secure pensions for its workers.

I understand the old-fashioned “black” propaganda that religiously tinged right-wing broadcast and Internet media constantly spew: that concoction of anecdotes, scenarios, provocative questions, inferences, innuendoes, invalid studies financed by right-wing interests and quotes from so-called experts like Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Michelle Malkin, William Kristol, et. al., all of whom are paid by right-wing interests.  Yes, it’s a deeply stimulating if pernicious brew.  But why do so many people zero in on these lies, shoddy facts and arguments and ignore or reject the mainstream natural and social sciences?   Why do so many people believe what so many facts disprove? 

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