To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, November 23, 2020

New Observercast

Why Do They Believe?

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BY SHARON MARTIN

He lies, and people believe him.

When you call his base on the lies, they say, “All politicians lie.”

Comparing hundreds of lies against one or two or 10 is like comparing 99% of climate scientists to 1% of climate change deniers.

Members of his base believe because they want to believe. But why do they want to believe?

Is it about immigration?

In 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that non-Hispanic/non-Latino whites made up 60.4% of the population. So, are white members of his base afraid of becoming the minority? Are they afraid that they’ll be treated the way minorities have been treated in this country for years?

Maybe it’s about abortion rights.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in the U.S. dropped by 20% between 2011-17. But it wasn’t just the rate that dropped. During that same period, the number of abortions dropped, as well, by 19%.

Unless you think this drop in the number of abortions is due to challenges to abortion rights in the South and Midwest, the number and rate of abortions fell at a similar rate across all four regions of the country, in red states and blue states.

So, what’s behind the drive to restrict access to abortion? Could it be that the anti-choice crowd are really afraid for women to make their own very personal decisions?

Is it about the guns?

I understand some of their fears. I don’t want to be in the group throwing rocks when a strongman pits the military against the people. But that won’t happen unless we allow a strongman to upend our democracy.

Propaganda also takes its toll on the truth. How do we counter lies? How do we stand up to manipulation? How do we convince the president’s true believers that democracy is a better choice?

We must have some uncomfortable conversations if we are to understand why anyone wants to believe his lies. This is necessary if we want to save our country.

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