Arbitrary ideas


1) Confirmation bias.  Confirmation bias is a tendency to favor information that confirms ones beliefs.*  It is a tendency to gravitate to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck if you are conservative.  If you are a liberal, you tend to listen to Rachael Maddow or Keith Olbermann.  It is a tendency to seek out news sources, or periodicals, that back up, or confirm, one’s viewpoint.  When liberals seek news, they generally go to the NY Times.  When conservatives seek news they read the Wall Street Journal.  We all live with this notion that those who disagree with us are just not informed properly, and if they would simply read our periodicals, or see this definition of confirmation bias, they would open their minds to other news sources.  Both sides do it to some degree, but liberals have a stronger tendency to believe that they are the more open-minded group.

I hate to say that I’m an exception to this rule, for everyone immediately leaps to the fact that they’re so intelligent and unique that no description of a psychological tendency fits them, but I’ve tried liberalism.  Way back when Larry King ran a successful radio program, I thought I was a liberal.  Before you think me a total moron, I did not consider Larry King intelligent or a political beacon in my otherwise confused mind, but I did listen to him.  I did have him confirm to me what I believed back then.  He did have political discussions with liberals, and these discussions confirmed what I believed.  If a conservative snuck by King’s producer, King would yell: “I thought I told you, no wackos!”  So, it wasn’t exactly a free exchange of ideas, but it supported what I believed.

Since then, I have read numerous books from Bill Maher, Al Franken, and George Carlin.  I’ve watched numerous liberal television shows and movies.  I’ve done everything I could to have this ascension to conservatism thwarted, but the liberal movement has no Thomas Sowell and no Charles Krauthammer.  Both sides have their entertaining insult comedians, both sides have their radical, extreme fringe types, but the left doesn’t have a reasoned commentator that can rip an argument apart without insulting the other side, without demeaning those who hold opposing views, and without appealing to emotions.  Krauthammer and Sowell provide reasoned approaches to issues that appeal to me, so perhaps I read them so often because they confirm my bias through rational and reasoned thinking.  So, I’m no exception to the rule, but before you laugh and point your finger at me, remember the tendency applies to you too.  The one difference I would point to in this definition of the tendency is that I don’t ignore the other side.  I seek it out.  I get off on material that I think challenges my mind, and I like to defeat their arguments.

2) Rush Limbaugh is fat, so why are you listening to him?  When the incident involving Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke reached its peak, the liberals were in ecstasy describing their hatred for the man and his “soon to be” declining ratings.  They talked about how they were going to drive him off radio, the way they did Imus, and in the same manner they got Glenn Beck off Fox News.  They were going to go after his advertisers, and make trouble for his syndicates.  It didn’t work, of course, but that didn’t stop liberals from getting hysterical around the country.

One of my favorite comments came from an anonymous reply to a news story that covered the incident, “Why does anyone still listen to him?  He’s fat!”  It’s a decent question from someone who is so psychologically entrenched in the Hollywood mindset that they accidentally carry this mentality over into their daily lives.   We all like to watch incredibly good looking people walk and talk on our screens, and we begin to think in terms of their market value and their TQ ratings when we watch them.  The primary job of a star in Hollywood, or a Top 40 star in the music industry, is to stay avoid the temptations of becoming fat.  In Hollywood, a screenwriter writes the words for thin people, a director tells these thin people how to read their words, and a makeup artist makes sure they look great on the screen.  The only thing that they have to do to enhance their market value, and TQ ratings, is to stay thin.  So, when someone, like a Rush Limbaugh, comes along and maintains popularity, it goes against everything that those who are entrenched in the Hollywood mindset believe in.  “Don’t you guys watch TV?” I imagine them asking.  “Don’t you have cable?  There are so many thin people out there to choose from, why would you listen to someone who it fat?”

3) How Obama could get re-elected.  I had an idea how Obama could win the election the other day, and it seemed so easy that I almost didn’t want to voice it, but I knew the Obama camp wouldn’t do it, and I knew that they wouldn’t read my blog anyway.  The idea is based on the argument that Republicans are currently making that Obama will do anything and say anything to win this upcoming election.  Republicans argue that he doesn’t have a record to run on, so we may see a whole lot of desperation on his part to get you to believe anything and everything about him.  They also say that Obama will do and anything and everything he can think of to get you to think less of his presumed opponent Mitt Romney.  If the former point is true, and Obama does reach a point of desperation, he may want to consider having George W. Bush christen the new Trade Center.

President Obama would, of course, be the first choice to christen this building once it’s completed.  Obama could let it be known that he would be honored to christen this building, and he could talk about the glory of the new building, and the symbol of regrowth, and how he chose to see this as a symbol of what he wants to do for the country between 2012 and 2016.  He could milk it for weeks, holding press conferences and in on-site speeches.  Then, at the last second, say with one week to go before the christening, he could say, “I have decided to select an honoree to stand in my place.  I have selected George W. Bush, for I believe that no man has done more to thwart terrorism in the past decade.  While I may not agree with some of the tactics his administration employed in fighting terrorism, now is not a time for such bickering.  It is a time to commemorate what I believe is an historic achievement worthy of honor.  Let The New Trade Center be the symbol for our new era, and let George W. Bush be the man to symbolically lead us into that era.”

Now I know what you’re thinking, Obama would never do this, no politician would.  Imagine if he did though.  I’m sure Obama would use different words, and he wouldn’t be so effusive with his praise for the former president of another party, but if Obama and his speechwriters could somehow construct language that kept his arguments against the Bush administration in place while allowing the former president to christen the new Trade Center, I think Obama would be almost unbeatable in the 2012 election.

Imagine how difficult it would be for Republicans to pin their narratives on him from that point forward.  Imagine the ads.  “Everything they told you about this man is wrong.  He is a generous man, a good man, a man that promised you he would not be a blue-state, or a red-state president, but he would be a president for the people.”  Imagine the swing voters saying, in their exit poll interviews, “He and I (Obama) don’t see eye to eye on a lot of issues, but after that thing he did for Bush at the Trade Center, I got the idea that he was a good man, and I started to think that a lot of his detractors were lying about him.”

If Obama is going to get desperate, and his opponents think he might if his poll numbers don’t improve, think about what a home run this could be.  He would be seen in the same light as Reagan on this one issue, in that Reagan invited Carter to welcome the Iranian Hostages home, even though Reagan was in office when it happened. ** Such an action might trouble Obama’s base a little, but who is his base going to vote for if not Obama?  It will never happen of course, but it could be Obama’s Sister Souljah moment if he did it right.

4)  Unseating an Incumbent.  Those who walk around with the notion that it should be relatively simple to unseat President Barack Obama don’t know their history.  An elected president has only been unseated three times in eighty years.  In eighty years there have been twelve opportunities to unseat a sitting president, and it’s only been successfully done three times.  One was Hoover, and the depression; another was Carter, and his recession; and the third was George H.W. Bush, and the successful campaign that Bill Clinton ran to convince people that there was a recession based on twelve years of Republican policies.  So, in reality, Bill Clinton was the only president-elect that was able to wage a successful bid against an incumbent in which the economy could arguably be said to be relatively stable.  Are we in a recession now, or a weak recovery?  Most economic experts say the latter, and if that’s the case Romney will be attempting to do something that’s only been done one other time in twelve elections that involved an elected president.***

5) The Defense of the Drone Program.  It cracks me up when liberal commentators attempt to justify President Barack Obama’s drone program in Pakistan with the same justifications President George W. Bush’s administration used to justify their coercive interrogation techniques.  Without flinching, liberals reflexively call those actions torture, and they say, “We’re better than that.”  When it’s pointed out to them that Obama’s drone program is killing these terrorists to avoid the political pond they would enter if they captured a terrorist on the battlefield, they attempt to skirt the issue by going back to the justifications President George W. Bush’s administration used to justify their coercive interrogation techniques.  Either they don’t see the contradiction, or they think killing someone is more merciful than interrogating them, or they recognize the political pond they would be entering by honestly entering into the discussion.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

**http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19810119&id=CFVOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xu4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=2720,2127275

***http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

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