Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

A Left Turn Toward Biased Ignorance – Issues & Insights

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2021

“In other words, voters were twice as likely to believe certain progressive myths than conservative ones,” according to the report. No doubt that’s a residual effect from our left-leaning media, which now spews socialist “narratives” instead of facts.

I & I Editorial Board

With the extreme left culturally ascendant, many of our most treasured and valuable national institutions have become houses of progressive Groupthink. Meanwhile, our nation’s founding principles, basic morality, values and even science have come under sustained hostile ideological assault by both the media and academia. Bias and ignorance have been institutionalized. Sadly, according to a new report, voters bear much of the blame for this.

No question, America is a mess. But how did it get that way? The simple answer, the poll of voters suggests, is ignorance, along with pervasive media and political bias.

The study is based on a survey of voters taken shortly after the 2020 presidential election by Just Facts, which describes itself as “a non-profit institute dedicated to publishing comprehensive, straightforward, and rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.”

The group’s most recent study is eye-opening.

It shows, Just Facts says, “that the vast bulk of voters have embraced false and harmful dogmas that accord with their political views.” This, it adds, is largely due to what’s called confirmation bias, “the human tendency to reflexively accept anything that accords with one’s preexisting beliefs and ignore or twist everything that defies them.”

It’s true that both sides of the political debates have their biases.

For instance, among Trump voters, some 76% believe that incomes for the middle class fell during the Obama years. In fact, on average they rose by $5,300.

No group is perfect. But those on the left show themselves to be, well, delusional about what they know and don’t know.

For instance, among Biden voters, 88% believe police are more likely to use deadly force when arresting black Americans than white ones. Wrong. In fact, they’re 42% less likely to use deadly force against blacks.

This, as much as anything, might illustrate why cities around the nation now are wracked by race riots and political violence by far-left extremists like BLM and Antifa. Ignorant voters decry the violence and property destruction, but then excuse it and vote for those who propagate it.

As for the impacts of climate change, only about 38% of Trump voters but 86% of Biden voters believe that the number of powerful, destructive tornadoes has increased since the 1950s. This, by the way, is part of the left’s narrative that global warming has created far-reaching climatic changes, among them violent tornadoes.

Not true. In fact, the average number of violent hurricanes has fallen somewhat.

We could go on. Just Facts asked 21 such questions of 1,000 randomly selected people in their survey, enough for a 3% margin of error.

The average voter correctly answered just 38% of the questions, were wrong 51% of the time, and unsure 10% of the time. A majority could only answer four of the 21 questions correctly.

Think of that when an HR1 supporter says we need more uninformed people voting to “perfect our democracy.”

Perhaps showing the effects of a pervasively left-biased mainstream media, wrong answers strongly correlated to partisan agendas. The data clearly showed this: An average of 57% of the incorrect answers were liberally misinformed, while just 28% were conservatively misinformed.

“In other words, voters were twice as likely to believe certain progressive myths than conservative ones,” according to the report. No doubt that’s a residual effect from our left-leaning media, which now spews socialist “narratives” instead of facts.

And therein lies the rub.

Because, as it turns out, the left are far more likely to believe things and propagate ideas that are factually false than are people on the right. That’s of course completely contrary to the media’s repeated claims that leftists and progressives are more attuned to “science” and “fact-based” reality than conservatives are.

“For all 10 of the questions in which the electorate was most deluded, the wrong answers they gave concurred with progressive narratives propagated by the media,” the voter study showed. “Moreover, the false answers they gave were often far removed from reality, not just slightly mistaken.”

As an example, Just Facts noted, some 66% of voters thought that by doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, poor families would see their average incomes rise by 25% or more. The real number, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office from actual labor market and income data, is about 1%.

One final point. Here’s the breakdown for the rate of wrong answers given to the survey’s questions, by demographic and voting group. The numbers speak for themselves.

  • 61% for Biden voters
  • 56% for 18- to 34-year olds
  • 53% for females
  • 51% for 35- to 64-year olds
  • 51% for 65+ year olds
  • 49% for males
  • 42% for Trump voters

Please remember this the next time some leftist in the media tries to convince you how bright, humane and enlightened the sinistral side of the political spectrum is. And you can expect this delusion to get even worse as the Democratic Party continues its very own political gender “transition” to becoming a straight-up, no-apologies Socialist Party.

As President Reagan said, oh-so politely, years ago, “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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