In this era of argument-by-facebook-jpeg, there was a lot of positive vibe for the simple graphic that I posted, a while back, showing that the U.S. budget deficit suffers a positive 2nd-Derivative (2D) — that accelerates toward skyrocketing debt — during almost every year of every Republican administration since Eisenhower. And that the 2D — contrary to every “truthy” slogan we’ve been taught — improves or decelerates during almost every year of every Democratic presidential term.
Here’s a whole site (nonpartisan) of tax graphics of interest.
So, why do people continue to believe “common knowledge” things that are diametrically opposite to true? Other examples abound.
For example, Democratic presidents always beef up the U.S. Border Patrol and reduce illegal immigration, while GOP presidents almost always cripple the Border Patrol and open the floodgates of illegals. It is right there in the budgets and manpower figures, with the one exception that G.W. Bush started down the usual GOP path, slashing Border Patrol funding… but then had to increase it again after 9/11.
If you actually thought about it, you would understand why both parties’ actions run diametrically opposite to their reputations and rhetoric. Dems actually benefit from LEGAL immigration, which increases the potential numbers of loyal union members and voters. Unions do not want illegals undermining wages… which is something the top GOP masters do want. If you hate the ethnic changes in America, fine, but go after the dems for legal immigration, which they did open wider, and stop obsessing on the much smaller illegal influx, which your own party has relentlessly caused. But if you are that kind of person, logic is wasted on you, anyway.
The same cognitive dissonance between cliched expectation and reality can be found in “de-regulation of excessive government bureaucracy.”
Which party talks and talks and talks about that? Ah, but does the GOP ever do anything about it? Even during the many years when they held every lever of power?
In fact: ironically, it was the democrats who disbanded the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) that Ayn Rand deemed the worst example of “captured” government, favoring railroad moguls over competitors. It was the democrats who disbanded the horrid old Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and restored airline competition. They unleashed the wild-open Internet upon the world, with almost no regulation at all! Dems did every other major DE-regulation of the last century except in one industry.
Finance. Wall Street and banking. The GOP led the charge deregulating there, for the simple reason that regulation of finance is desperately necessary to prevent massive raids on our economy. And rampage raids on our wallets happened after every GOP-led “deregulation” of finance, especially in the 1920s, the 1980s and the mid-2000s.
And so the question is raised… why do all the pundits and journalists and pols and online yammerers never even glance at any of these horridly opposite-to-true cliches?
== The real war is against reality ==
Likewise, the War on Science… and against all smartypants professions. Forty-three years ago, when Richard Nixon was president, roughly forty percent of scientists and twenty-six percent of U.S. journalists (the people in society who interview and question the widest samplings of Americans) called themselves Republicans, only slightly fewer than called themselves democrats.
Today, just 7% of US journalists so identify and less than 5% of scientists.
What’s changed? Similar steep declines are seen in nearly all of the professions that require extensive knowledge and skill, from teaching and medicine to economics, law, law-enforcement and civil service to university professors in almost every field, even to the U.S. military officer corps.
When I ask my GOP friends (and I remain a registered Republican) to explain this, they reply with blanket condemnation of each of these professions, calling them rife with pointy-headed drones and herd-following myopics, betraying their fields by plunging into political bias. Science, they declare, has been betrayed by the scientists themselves!
An interesting assertion, argued generally by that most-persuasive modern device, the mass-forwarded facebook jpeg! Today’s postage-free equivalent of a crazy-uncle chain letter! How much more convincing than actually talking to the people who can tell Bernoulli’s equation from a cellular automata model… from a hole in the ground.
(Name a single exception to this demonization (mostly by the right, but also by some elements of the radical left) of folks who actually know a lot! After a decade spent asking this question publicly, I have seen just three professions listed that are of high intellectual attainment and skill, yet have escaped regular attack by the central cathedral of Know-Nothingness — Fox News. Can you name those three?)
The mass-desertion of the GOP by all the smart people does not discredit Smart People. It discredits a “side” that has gone crazy, by waging war on smart people. This is no longer “conservatism” in any recognizable sense, but rather a cult. Goldwater and Buckley are spinning in their graves.
== And Finally ==
All right, this is just terrific. A generic “why I am right and you are wrong” anthem for our (insanely self-righteous) times.