To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, October 18, 2021

Observercast

If You Believe

on

BY SHARON MARTIN

Sharon Martin“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts and figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”

Sanford University psychologist Leon Festinger said this many years ago, but it is just as true today. There is no debate for some folk about climate change, the need for vaccinations, or even the legitimacy of a twice-elected president.

Recently when I suggested to a friend that she run some outrageous claim by Snopes, the fact-checking organization, she told me, “I don’t trust Snopes. It’s funded by George Soros.”

No sense in trying to change her mind with facts.

Then there’s the group who believes that “the feds are buying up all the ammunition.” Some types of ammo are hard to find. The reason? True believers of “the government is buying up all the ammo” are buying up all the ammo. Don’t try to argue about supply and demand, though.

Read any article online then read the comments. This is where you’ll find proof that people on opposite sides of any debate have two sets of facts and numbers.

This makes me feel rather hopeless. It also makes me afraid.

I’m a gun owner. I don’t understand people who base their vote on the gun rights issue. They complain about the lack of health care options, about the state of education, about hungry children, then they go right out and vote Republican because they’re afraid someone is going to take their .22 away from them.

These same folk complain about having to register their guns, and then they join the NRA, perhaps the largest database of gun owners in the world. They vote against the party that champions access to mental health treatment, the best chance we have of keeping guns out of the hands of crazies.

Logic doesn’t stand a chance. And the power brokers who believe corporations and the super rich deserve all the breaks know this. The religious establishment who would like to turn this country into a Christian theocracy knows this. If they didn’t, gay marriage and background checks for gun ownership would not be subjects for debate. They know that these issues drive the vote.

If you think the human population can’t change the climate and gay people choose to be gay, I probably can’t change your mind. But until you make your voting decisions about all the issues and not just the ones designed to manipulate your vote, our democratic republic doesn’t stand a chance.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.