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Are Trump Voters Stupid?
No. No more so than any average voter.
But ignorant? Yes. ( let the complaints begin )
"The single best predictor of Trump support in the GOP primary is the absence of a college degree." The Alantic
I have heard Trump supporters called stupid. I know some, they are friends and not stupid people. But they fit the above description in that not one of those friends ever had any higher education. ( To be honest while I have a year of college plus college courses in Constitutinal Law [Ohio State], I am not a graduate. )
It is among these less educated working class whites that Trump rose to win. He showered them with praise and promised the pot of gold at the end of the Trump rainbow and they bought it hook, line and sinker. As of this writing Trump has not been sworn in so there has been no test of his promises.
Stupid is a condition of the brain. It may be called a handicap (not meaning offense to anyone) but Ignorance is a condition of being too lazy to learn. Ignorance is a choice. Factual information is out there if you want it. Sadly so many of the informationally challanged have a built in catch 22 (assuming you know that reference to the movie) in that they don't seem to recognize their own lack of knowledge. Fox news tells them something and to many that's their bible and anyone who says different is not to be trusted.
Conservative Politicians love Fox despite (because of?) its abysmal rating with telling the truth to viewers. Rated, 17% true and 49% false. Their rating of 15% Pants on Fire Lies almost equals the number of times they told the truth. 1 An uneducated population is the easiest to control.
It is harder to judge networks like CNN simply because they quote or report other's comments. I look at their profile finds a mix of True to Pants on Fire but the telling clue is who is making which statements. A majority but not all lies seem to come from the mouths of Republicans/Conservatives interviewed on CNN. Many of the lies on Fox come right from their own writers and broadcasters. You decide.
The thing about all of these "reliable sources" is that depending on who is doing the talking, one may get facts or out right lies and it is encumbent upon the viewer to sort it out. This is where the internet can be invaluable. True, anything can be posted online so don't EVER think that Twitter or Facebook is news. It is gossip and nothing more. But there are a lot of source to check facts and if something seems either too good to be true or too fishy to true, Google it. See if it is reported in multiple places and verified.
This is where we start to wipe out ignorance, much to the dismay of politicial types. Ignorance is a choice.
One of the best places to check the validity of a statement is Politifact.com. This organization won a Pulitzer Prize for shining a bright light on the truth through exhaustive fact checking, pulling no punches on any side. To a lesser extent and certainly looking to entertain more, Snopes.com can be added to your bookmarks.
Add to your bookmarks BBC News, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal (conservative), Washington Post (liberal), NY Times (liberal) ,LA Times, as well as your own local news paper. Don't take one account as factual until you verify it several other places. All outlets have an editorial bias to some degree but few reliable news agencies will permit an outright lie to go unchallanged.
Google is very useful provided you don't fall into the fake news trap because Google just indexes words, not facts and anything can appear.
When voters understand a couple of facts, they can better arm themselves come election days to come.
Some rules of thumb.
- Campaign ads are not to be considerd factual, they are marketing. Unlike ads for cereal a political ad can intentionally lie to you.
- Politicians and their supporters lie. Boldy which is where fact checking is critical.
- Special interest groups fund political campaigns and expect something in return. They would not keep giving if they were not getting.
- News media are out to make money. Most of them are entertainers not reporters and will interview anyone often with reputations for lying.
- If you never heard of them and cannot find the same story somewhere else reliable it is likely fake news.
- If YOU won't take the time to check things out, YOU will remain an ignorant voter.