Are Barack Obama's teeth wrong

Donald Trump and his lies : True? Not correct? - He doesn't care

Donald Trump is lying. According to the Washington Post, the US president had made exactly 13,435 false or misleading claims by October 9th. You can call that notorious. As unscrupulous as him, no democratically elected head of state has disregarded facts since the Second World War. Nevertheless, Trump can be re-elected. His Republicans stand by him. Why is that?

Probably not in Trump's character. The majority of Republicans also reject lies in politics; they are against high national debt, against sexism and racism. It is not a mere weighing of interests that explains their loyalty to Trump. If it were according to the current rules of political reason, they would have to desert in droves. But they don't do that. Perhaps a little excursion into cognitive psychology will help explain this. In those psychic processes that allow perception, knowledge and cognition to be understood.

Trump's method of turning things around at will shows up early. A telephone interview that he conducted from Las Vegas on May 29, 2012 with CNN presenter Wolf Blitzer is legendary. That was in the middle of the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney ran for the Republicans at the time.

Trump was in a fix

Trump vigorously denied that President Barack Obama was born in the United States and was therefore a legitimate president. Blitzer then presented both Obama's birth certificate, confirmed by the Governor of Hawaii, and a birth announcement from then in a local Hawaii newspaper. He also quoted Romney, who rejected all doubts about Obama's nationality.

Trump was in a fix. What to do? "Well," he said, "Romney has his opinion, that's nice, I have my opinion, that's nice too." Blitzer replied: "But we're talking about facts, not opinions." Then Trump: "What does this mean Facts? There are many people, whose names I will not mention, who do not consider this birth certificate to be authentic. "

In her essay “Truth and Lies in Politics” (1963), Hannah Arendt analyzed the process of transforming factual truth into an opinion. She writes: "Since the liar can freely invent or rearrange 'facts', he has the possibility of orienting himself according to what his audience is right at the moment or what is to be expected." By discrediting facts as matters of opinion to which one can choose can behave in different ways, they become a mere opinion that is subjective and changeable.

Thinking has a social function

So why isn't Trump's building of lies wavering? Why can't all exposures harm him? Two years ago, cognitive psychologists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber published a book called "The Enigma of Reason". Her thesis: People don't think in order to become smarter, to know more and to understand more, but to promote cohesion in their respective group.

Thinking has a social function. It should create identity and document one's own rank within the group. It can be a nation, a party, a tribe, a religious community. The loyalty of the group members is more important than their love of truth or consistency.

Consequently, the question “What is true?” Is subordinated to the confession “Are you for or against us?”. Dan Kahan from Yale Law School calls this the “identity-protective cognition”. We intuitively look for information that confirms our view of the world and avoid information that calls it into question.

After the 2012 US presidential election, supporters of Obama and Romney were put to the test. You should listen to the main arguments of the other party. For more than a third of Obama voters and more than half of Romney voters, the experience was the pain of dental surgery.

Contradiction is interpreted as treason

We want our views to be in line with the groups we feel close to. We defend the views of these groups because our own identities depend on them. Hannah Arendt writes: “The fact that people ignore facts that are well known to them when they contradict their favor or pleasure is such a common phenomenon that it can be thought that it may be in the nature of human affairs to be at war with the truth. "

Trump welds his people together. Contradiction is interpreted as treason. Loyalty takes precedence over ideology, character, or fact-based reasoning. His supporters stick with him even though they don't believe his lies: that is the core of the “lying-politician paradox”, as the British magazine “Economist” describes the phenomenon.

No comparison, no weighing up, no discourse

In the USA, Republicans and Democrats live in parallel worlds of perception that hardly ever touch each other. The term for this is called "cocooning". The media are part of the polarization, also because there is no strong public broadcasting system. But whoever lives in the cocoon does not see the other. No comparison, no weighing up, no discourse. This increases the group pressure and reduces the willingness to form your own, independent judgment.

The bon mot comes from the French philosopher Hippolyte Taine: “In vain does reason complain that prejudice rules the world; because if she wants to rule the world herself, she too has to turn into a prejudice. ”Easier said than done.

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