The Herman Cain Freedom Award - Lawyers, Guns & Money:
The whole key to understanding the anti-vax pro-horse dewormer mentality is that it’s not just this one thing for these people. Admitting that they’ve been wrong about this isn’t like admitting you were wrong about thinking that Willie Mays hit 700 home runs or that Detroit is the capital of Michigan. To admit you were wrong about this thing in particular would be to pull on a thread that could unravel your entire social and political identity. For those in the right wing bubble/base, admitting error on this point basically requires a literal conversion experience. It would be like a former Christian fundamentalist coming to the view that the Bible isn’t actually the inerrant word of God. In other words, that’s not just some random fact, but THE fact, that holds every other part of the person’s world view together.
I think this is exactly right.
It is why I find complaints about Republican/MAGA hypocrisy so frustrating. Rarely a day goes by when I do not see some social media post noting with outrage that Republicans shout about personal freedom and how no one can tell them what to do with their bodies when it comes to mask mandates, but then turn around and argue completely the opposite when they pass crazy abortion restrictions.
The thing is, they are not gathering logically consistent facts about the world and then building their worldview and opinions from that. Rather, they have their worldview and then gather their opinions based on that worldview. It doesn’t matter if the facts and opinions are logically inconsistent with one another, and pointing out those inconsistencies will have zero effect.
It’s like the painting of Plato pointing up and Aristotle pointing down. You’re over here with Aristotle, saying that we should look at the world around us and build from there. Meanwhile, they’re over there with Plato, convinced they have the truth and looking to make the world fit into it.