Friday, September 23, 2011

I heard it from someone...

Just a quick note--I've written before about how some ridiculous things that are put forward as "fact" come from online or "I heard someone say".  Here are two examples, GOV Nikki Haley of SC who "sooo wanted" mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients because:
Down on River Site, they were hiring a few hundred people, and when we sat down and talked to them — this was back before the campaign — when we sat down and talked to them, they said of everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test, and of the half that was left, of that 50 percent, the other half couldn’t read and write properly
The other, more widely seen comment came from Michelle Bachmann who said that,
There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine, She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result. There are very dangerous consequences.
Now, clearly they can't be BLAMED for having false information. Haley later found out the number was less than one percent and explained herself by saying,
I've never felt like I had to back up what people tell me. You assume that you're given good information.  And now I'm learning through you guys that I have to be careful before I say something
As for Bachmann, her walk-back was even less impressive saying,
During the debate, I didn't make any statements that would indicate I'm a doctor, I'm a scientist, or making any conclusions about the drug one way or the other, I didn't make any statements about that
The bigger problem I have with this kind of thinking isn't just how lazy it is, but how despite the fact the given premise for their position is proven false, they stick to their conclusion. GOV Haley is still "convinced" of the need to test people for drugs before receiving welfare and Bachmann is still against giving the HPV vaccine. This proves, I think, that people who adhere so adamantly to their political beliefs are not politically influenced, but dogmatic believers, as Andrew Sullivan would say--the Republican Party is not a party of ideals, but religious beliefs.  If your conclusions are held despite their premises being based on falsehood, this is no longer a reality based party, but a party of "faith".


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