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Thread: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Updated list (confirmed deceased voter fraud in November 2020 election)

    Georgia: 2 out of 5,000,000 votes
    Michigan: 0 out of 5,450,000 votes
    Pennsylvania: 2 out of 6,850,000 votes
    Texas: 0(?) out of 11,100,000 votes
    Wisconsin: 0(?) out of 3,240,000 votes
    __________________________________
    tentative Running Total: 4 of 31,640,000 votes [1.26 x 10 *(-5) %] or 0.0000126%

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    If nothing else, you're tenacious. Myopic, but tenacious.

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    I'll check into New Mexico, the last of the six contested states.

    New Mexico had 903,000 votes cast for president in 2020.

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Neither the New Mexico Secretary of State nor the Attorney General has any published statements on individual cases of impersonation fraud in their last election, nor can I find anything about any specific cases in the news in the last year or concerning the November election. It looks like another "0," but I will look a little more.

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    I'll check into New Mexico, the last of the six contested states.

    New Mexico had 903,000 votes cast for president in 2020.
    I think that last was Arizona, another state where Trump's cultists believed that Biden had no right to win, because...because...

    Overall, the answer seems to be that die-hard Trump cultists will hold onto their beliefs that Trump's landslide was stolen, just as right-wing Germans continued, after 1918, to believe that "the great German Army was never defeated, took not a single backward step, until it was stabbed in the back by Socialist Jews who agreed to the Armistice". Perhaps Republican voters with a sense of reality will give it up if, and as, Trump recedes into the past. It is clear, though, that some will not. The current Trump Cult lie is that radical leftists dressed in MAGA costumes and took the Capitol last week to make Trump look bad. Some believe that Trump will have the FBI and the Army arrest Joe Biden and a "cabal" of "deep state" agents. Any day now.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Clever indirect Nazi reference.

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    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Updated list (confirmed deceased voter fraud in November 2020 election)

    Georgia: 2 out of 5,000,000 votes
    Michigan: 0 out of 5,450,000 votes
    Pennsylvania: 2 out of 6,850,000 votes
    Texas: 0(?) out of 11,100,000 votes
    Wisconsin: 0(?) out of 3,240,000 votes
    New Mexico: 0 out of 903,000 votes
    __________________________________
    Running Total: 4 of 32,543,000 votes [1.23 x 10 *(-5) %] or 0.0000123%


    So, to the best of my ability from a livingroom laptop and about three hours of searching, I could only come up with official (state authority) or newspaper references to four confirmed cases of voting in the name of deceased persons in the six states that the Trump campaign contested in their various lawsuits.

    I've crossed concern about dead people voting off my list.

    Conclude what you will.

    Trump said in one of his "perfect" calls that there were "5,000" dead voters in Georgia alone. Fucking liar, and leader of a gullible and impressionable swath of America. He should be impeached simply for his pathological prevarication and assault on the truth. And then, oh yeah. For his part in inciting an armed attack on the US Capitol.

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    I, for one, can't access this. What is it about?

  11. #50
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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    I'll try to cut&paste it. There are some image subtitles that you should ignore -
    The Art of the Lie? The Bigger the Better
    by Andrew Higgins, nytimes.com
    January 10, 2021 04:36 PM
    Lying as a political tool is hardly new. But a readiness, even enthusiasm, to be deceived has become a driving force in politics around the world, most recently in the United States.


    For President Trump’s supporters, rallying near the Washington Monument on Wednesday, it is enough that he says he won.Credit...Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

    阅读简体中文版閱讀繁體中文版
    MOSCOW — In a cable to Washington in 1944, George F. Kennan, counselor at the United States Embassy in Stalin’s Moscow, warned of the occult power held by lies, noting that Soviet rule “has proved some strange and disturbing things about human nature.”

    Foremost among these, he wrote, is that in the case of many people, “it is possible to make them feel and believe practically anything.” No matter how untrue something might be, he wrote, “for the people who believe it, it becomes true. It attains validity and all the powers of truth.”

    Mr. Kennan’s insight, generated by his experience of the Soviet Union, now has a haunting resonance for America, where tens of millions believe a “truth” invented by President Trump: that Joseph R. Biden Jr. lost the November election and became president-elect only through fraud.

    Lying as a political tool is hardly new. Niccolo Machiavelli, writing in the 16th century, recommended that a leader try to be honest but lie when telling the truth “would place him at a disadvantage.” People don’t like being lied to, Machiavelli observed, but “one who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”

    A readiness, even enthusiasm, to be deceived has in recent years become a driving force in politics around the world, notably in countries like Hungary, Poland, Turkey and the Philippines, all governed by populist leaders adept at shaving the truth or inventing it outright.

    Janez Jansa, a right-wing populist who in March became prime minister of Slovenia — the home country of Melania Trump — was quick to embrace Mr. Trump’s lie that he won. Mr. Jansa congratulated him after the November vote, saying “it’s pretty clear that the American people have elected” Mr. Trump and lamenting “facts denying” by the mainstream media.

    Even Britain, which regards itself as a bastion of democracy, has fallen prey to transparent but widely believed falsehoods, voting in 2016 to leave the European Union after claims by the pro-Brexit camp that exiting the bloc would mean an extra 350 million pounds, or $440 million, every week for the country’s state health service.


    Many of the claims of Brexit backers are demonstrably false, but as Britain officially left the European Union, on Jan. 31, some people in London celebrated.Credit...Andrew Testa for The New York Times
    Those who advanced this lie, including the Conservative Party politician who has since become Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, later admitted that it was a “mistake” — though only after they had won the vote.

    Bigger and more corrosive lies, ones that don’t just fiddle with figures but reshape reality, have found extraordinary traction in Hungary. There, the populist leader Viktor Orban has cast the financier and philanthropist George Soros, a Hungarian-born Jew, as the shadowy mastermind of a sinister plot to undermine the country’s sovereignty, replace native Hungarians with immigrants and destroy traditional values.

    The strength of this conspiracy theory, sometimes tinged with anti-Semitism, said Peter Kreko, executive director of Political Capital, a research group in Budapest long critical of Mr. Orban, lies in its appeal to a “tribal mind-set” that sees all issues as a struggle between “good and evil, black and white,” rooted in the interests of a particular tribe.

    “The art of tribal politics is that it shapes reality,” Mr. Kreko said. “Lies become truth and explain everything in simple terms.” And political struggles, he added, “become a war between good and evil that demands unconditional support for the leader of the tribe. If you talk against your own camp you betray it and get expelled from the tribe.”

    What makes this so dangerous, Mr. Kreko said, is not just that “tribalism is incompatible with pluralism and democratic politics” but that “tribalism is a natural form of politics: Democracy is a deviation.”

    In Poland, the deeply conservative Law and Justice Party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in power since 2015, has promoted its own multipurpose, reality-shifting conspiracy theory. It revolves around the party’s repeatedly debunked claim that the 2010 death of scores of senior Polish officials, including Mr. Kaczynski’s brother — Poland’s president at the time — in a plane crash in western Russia was the result of a plot orchestrated by Moscow and aided, or at least covered-up by the party’s rivals in Warsaw.

    Russian rescue workers inspecting the site of a plane crash that killed Poland’s president, Lech Kaczynski, in 2010.Credit...Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
    While Polish, Russian and independent experts have all blamed bad weather and pilot error for the crash, the belief that it was foul play has resonated among die-hard Law and Justice supporters. It has both fed on and reinforced their view that leaders of the previous centrist government are not just political rivals but traitors in cahoots with Poland’s centuries-old foe, Russia, and Poland’s own former communist elite.

    The utility of lying on a grand scale was first demonstrated nearly a century ago by leaders like Stalin and Hitler, who coined the term “big lie” in 1925 and rose to power on the lie that Jews were responsible for Germany’s defeat in World War I. For the German and Soviet dictators, lying was not merely a habit or a convenient way of sanding down unwanted facts but an essential tool of government.

    Capitol Riot Fallout
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    It tested and strengthened loyalty by forcing underlings to cheer statements they knew to be false and rallied the support of ordinary people who, Hitler realized, “more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie” because, while they might fib in their daily lives about small things, “it would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths.”

    By promoting a colossal untruth of his own — that he won a “sacred landslide election victory” — and sticking to it despite scores of court rulings establishing otherwise, Mr. Trump has outraged his political opponents and left even some of his longtime supporters shaking their heads at his mendacity.

    In embracing this big lie, however, the president has taken a path that often works — at least in countries without robustly independent legal systems and news media along with other reality checks.

    After 20 years in power in Russia, President Vladimir V. Putin, for example, has shown that Mr. Kennan was right when, writing from the Russian capital in 1944, he said, “Here men determine what is true and what is false.”

    Many of Mr. Putin’s falsehoods are relatively small, like the claim that journalists who exposed the role of Russia’s security service in poisoning opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny were working for the C.I.A. Others are not, like his insistence in 2014 that Russian soldiers played no role in the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine, or in fighting in eastern Ukraine. (He later acknowledged that “of course” they were involved in grabbing Crimea.)

    But there are differences between the Russian leader and the defeated American one, said Nina Khrushcheva, a professor and expert on Soviet and other forms of propaganda at the New School in New York. “Putin’s lies are not like Trump’s: They are tactical and opportunistic,” she said. “They don’t try to redefine the whole universe. He continues to exist in the real world.”

    Unidentified men outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea in 2014.Credit...Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
    Despite his open admiration for Russia’s president and the system he presides over, she said, Mr. Trump, in insisting that he won in November, is not so much mimicking Mr. Putin as borrowing more from the age of Stalin, who, after engineering a catastrophic famine that killed millions in the early 1930s, declared that “living has become better, comrades, living has become happier.”

    “That is what the big lie is,” Ms. Khrushcheva said. “It covers everything and redefines reality. There are no holes in it. You so either accept the whole thing or everything collapses. And that is what happened to the Soviet Union. It collapsed.”

    Whether Mr. Trump’s universe will collapse now that some allies have taken flight and Twitter has snatched his most potent bullhorn for broadcasting falsehoods is an open question. Even after the Capitol siege by pro-Trump rioters, more than 100 members of Congress voted to oppose the election outcome. Many millions still believe him, their faith fortified by social media bubbles that are often as hermetically sealed as Soviet-era propaganda.

    “Unlimited control of people’s minds,” Mr. Kennan wrote, depends on “not only the ability to feed them your own propaganda but also to see that no other fellow feeds them any of his.”

    In Russia, Hungary and Turkey, the realization that the “other fellow” must not be allowed to offer a rival version of reality has led to a steady squeeze on newspapers, television stations and other outlets out of step with the official line.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has shut down more than 100 media outlets and, through bullying by the tax police and other state agencies, forced leading newspapers and television channels to transfer ownership to government loyalists.

    This assault began in 2008 with claims by Mr. Erdogan and his allies that they had discovered a sprawling underground group of coup plotters and subversives comprising senior military officers, writers, professors, editors and many others.

    Protesters outside a courthouse in Turkey in 2013 where 275 people were accused of trying to overthrow the government. Turkey’s leader later acknowledged the case was a sham.Credit...Ozan Kose/Agence-France Presse, via Getty Images
    “The group was completely invented, a total fabrication,” said Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of“The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey.”

    This big lie, built around a few shards of fact, convinced not only pious Muslims hostile to the country’s secular elite but also liberals, many of whom then viewed the military as the biggest threat to democracy. Trials dragged on for years before Mr. Erdogan acknowledged that the case against the alleged underground group was a sham.

    Long before Mr. Trump, Mr. Cagaptay said, the Turkish leader, who has ruled since 2003, “saw the power of nativist and populist politics” rooted in falsehoods and “brought to prominence the idea of the deep state to justify crackdowns on his political opponents.”

    Mr. Trump’s ascent also helped empower a cousin of the big lie — a boom in social-media disinformation and far-right conspiracy-theory fiction.

    It has most notably been embodied by the global expansion of Qanon, a once-obscure fringe phenomenon that claims the world is run by a cabal of powerful liberal politicians who are sadistic pedophiles. Mr. Trump has not disavowed Qanon disciples, many of whom participated in the Capitol mayhem last Wednesday. In August he praised them as people who “love our country.”

    To some extent, each new generation is shocked to learn that leaders lie and that people believe them. “Lying never was more widespread than today. Or more shameless, systematic, and constant,” the Russian-born French philosopher Alexandre Koyré wrote in his 1943 treatise, “Reflections on Lying.”

    What most distressed Mr. Koyré, however, was that lies don’t even need to be plausible to work. “On the contrary,” he wrote, “the grosser, the bigger, the cruder the lie, the more readily is it believed and followed.”

    © 2021 The New York Times Company.
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Good article, Lloyd.

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Very interesting, thanks for posting that. Yes, to some degree, the more often one in power lies about bigger and bigger things, the more consequential to the world view being accepted it becomes to disbelieve or question the lie.

    Evil, manipulative psychology, that.

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Speaking of BIG LIES, didn't Trump recently say that he has had "the greatest first term in presidential history"?

    The insensitive brazenness of that lie during a pandemic when, basically, a 9/11 is happening in this country EVERY DAY now, just takes one's breath away.

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    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Speaking of BIG LIES, didn't Trump recently say that he has had "the greatest first term in presidential history"?

    The insensitive brazenness of that lie during a pandemic when, basically, a 9/11 is happening in this country EVERY DAY now, just takes one's breath away.
    "Greatest" is a subjective assessment. Ti a megalomaniac surrounded by sycophants, is an accurate statement.
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    It seems Trump has pLayed his LAST TRUMP.
    "The executive orders" has signed and he has declared the DISCLOSURE OF THE OBAMA-GATE. He has openly did the declaration saying all the dossiers will be out and be on public.
    General Flynn confirmed that and says another recent " Riot coup " which was a preprepared by BLM has been infiltrated military and special agents has a big success.
    REMEMBER THE "VIKING DUDE" POSING FREELY FOR MANY PHOTOS? He seems to be one of them just painted his body for the mission? Does anyone believe he was wearing a Go-Pro camera?
    There are stories and they are amazing and how TRUMP HAS PLAYED HIS LAST TRUMP?
    Does anyone knows the total black out( Power Cut ) that took place in ITALY, Germany, Pakistan simultaneously and in Ukraine there had been some DELTA FORCE OPERATIONS FOLLOWING. These are the events that took before the discourse of OBAMA-GATE.
    Is Trump up to something? Where is he going after all these. Is the military around DC.and around the Capitol Building is to do a protection or are they building a prison?
    I am not partial to any political groups but I am aware of what is happening there. How the DS is hijacking all politicians , Justice, law and judiciary system to do and let happen anything to serve themselves but not to serve the people.
    Honey trap culture and SCA is the festive mission for any one how willingly get involvement in politics and turning the wheel of the MAISON for their agenda.
    This is one of the recent evidence . https://realrawnews.com/2021/01/delt...nd-in-ukraine/

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Repetition is the key. Speaking of Big Lies, "less filling, tastes great" comes to mind.

    Trump has always done as anyone in sales and marketing has always done, repeat the marketing message. It is just when you give one person so much power, they're abuse effect the whole world.

    Buyers and listeners should always test the message. Unfortunately, many Trump supports appear to have blinding believed anything he said and never verified. We all can fall into such a bad habit when we hear something we want to here.

    Probably the biggest lie was swallowed by the police on hand last Wednesday thinking that people who look like them and think like them would storm the capital.

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Trump loses again as DoJ ends investigation into nine discarded ballots in Pennsylvania, having found nothing "to support his unfounded claims of election rigging, saying in a statement that the probe had found “insufficient evidence to prove criminal intent on the part of the person who discarded the ballots.”

    Though the case drew significant attention because of its public disclosure, investigators had long been skeptical that it would produce a significant finding of wrongdoing. According to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe nonpublic details of the case, the person who discarded the ballots was thought to have an intellectual disability. Local officials said the person was an independent contractor who was fired in the wake of the incident.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...6d6_story.html

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    A QAnon devotee waits, hoping that Trump will arrest everyone who opposes him...

    Has the US divided into those who accept reality and those who live inside their self-sealing conspiracy theory?


    By Kevin Roose
    Jan. 17, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

    Every morning, Valerie Gilbert, a Harvard-educated writer and actress, wakes up in her Upper East Side apartment; feeds her dog, Milo, and her cats, Marlena and Celeste; brews a cup of coffee; and sits down at her oval dining room table.

    Then, she opens her laptop and begins fighting the global cabal.

    Ms. Gilbert, 57, is a believer in QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory. Like all QAnon faithful, she is convinced that the world is run by a Satanic group of pedophiles that includes top Democrats and Hollywood elites, and that President Trump has spent years leading a top-secret mission to bring these evildoers to justice.

    She unspools this web of falsehoods on her Facebook page, where she posts dozens of times a day, often sharing links from right-wing sites like Breitbart and The Epoch Times or QAnon memes she has pulled off Twitter. On a recent day, her feed included a rant against Covid-19 lockdowns, a grainy meme accusing Congress of “high treason,” a post calling Lady Gaga a Satanist and a claim that “covfefe,” a typo that Mr. Trump accidentally tweeted three years ago, was a coded intelligence message.

    “I’m the meme queen,” Ms. Gilbert told me. “I won’t produce them, but I share a mean meme, and I’m kind of raw.”

    These are confusing times for followers of QAnon, a deranged conspiracy theory birthed in the bowels of the internet. They were told that Mr. Trump would be re-elected in a landslide, and that a coming “storm” would expose the global pedophile ring and bring its leaders to justice.

    But there have been no mass arrests, and Mr. Trump is leaving office on Wednesday under the cloud of a second impeachment. Many prominent QAnon followers have been arrested for their roles in this month’s deadly mob riot at the U.S. Capitol. They are being barred by the thousands from major social networks for spreading misinformation about voter fraud, and law enforcement agencies are treating the movement as a domestic extremist threat.

    These setbacks have left QAnon believers like Ms. Gilbert hoping for a last-minute miracle. Her current theory is that Mr. Trump will not actually leave office on Wednesday, but will instead declare martial law, declassify damning information about the “deep state” and arrest thousands of cabal members, including President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

    Like any movement its size — which is almost certainly in the millions, though it is impossible to quantify — QAnon contains a wide range of beliefs and tactics. Some “anons” are veteran conspiracists who have spent years exploring the theory’s many tributaries. Others are newer converts who have only a vague idea how it all connects. There are law-abiding keyboard warriors as well as violent, unhinged radicals.

    There is no question that QAnon, which began in 2017 with a series of anonymous posts on the 4chan online message board by “Q,” a person purporting to be a high-ranking government insider, has outgrown its roots on the far-right fringes. It is now a big-tent conspiracy theory community that includes left-wing yoga moms, anti-lockdown libertarians and “Stop the Steal” Trumpists. QAnon believers are young and old, male and female, educated and not. Every community in America has its fair share of them — dentists and firefighters and real estate agents who disappeared down a social media rabbit hole one day and never came back.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/t...eme-queen.html

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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    I do think this is a form of radicalization where there is a sensitivity to a position followed by self identication with a qroup of like minded people. There is probably some difficulty in breaking away or separating yourself if those other radicals are your only contacts.

    If you think Trump won the election and you find others who agree, then you have an authoriry figure that agrees with your thoughts, you're liable to fall into the radicalization trap. Something similar occurs with anti vaccine people. I knew of a woman who had her first child in her late 40's The child is autistic. She read the debunked study showing an MMR vaccine connection to autism. She convince many this was the reason her child developed autism.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: How can Trump-believers be persuaded that he lost an honest election?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    I do think this is a form of radicalization where there is a sensitivity to a position followed by self identication with a qroup of like minded people. There is probably some difficulty in breaking away or separating yourself if those other radicals are your only contacts.

    If you think Trump won the election and you find others who agree, then you have an authoriry figure that agrees with your thoughts, you're liable to fall into the radicalization trap. Something similar occurs with anti vaccine people. I knew of a woman who had her first child in her late 40's The child is autistic. She read the debunked study showing an MMR vaccine connection to autism. She convince many this was the reason her child developed autism.
    I'm going to post a thread on it soon, but the former "conspiracy theory" of COVID 19 starting in a lab in Wuhan is now "approved" for discussion. Note that initially, anyone who suggested there might be an alternative explanation to the "wet market" hypothesis was shouted down, ridiculed, "fact-checked" etc...

    This was also the case with treatment of COVID. The orthodoxy was whatever Fauci, Birx and The Who said. Point out that China influences the WHO? Point out other experts with credentials on par with Fauci that have differing opinions? Basically disagree at any level with the orthodoxy/"consensus"? You're ridiculed, removed from social media, etc... Now even liberal politicians are deciding that lockdowns and other measures might not be the best course of action. I believe it was Gov Cuomo who said "if we don't open, there will be nothing left to open", or something like that.

    Now there is a similar circumstance with this election. Reasonable people may present the hypothesis of fraud. They may present circumstantial evidence (and perhaps some direct evidence) of fraud. The situation was certainly novel (election counting stopping, wide swings of several hundred thousand votes after counting restarted, and 4 cities in 4 states determining the outcome). Just like the two examples regarding COVID (and your words above), anyone who even presents the possibility of an alternative explanation is labeled, ridiculed, and dismissed. One explanation is chosen, its representatives assigned as immaculate arbiters of truth, and all others are burned at the proverbial stake.

    If there are competing hypothesis in any other context, they're tested and evaluated and the facts and data determine the strength. When politics (or money) are involved, it's heretical to suggest the narrative might be wrong. Tsherbs couldn't even allow for the usage of "seems plausible" in questioning the election happenings without decrying it as dangerous, careless, or whatever term he used.

    Perhaps there is a pattern that we should try to avoid.

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