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Thom Hartmann - April 18, 2022

...conservatives are more vulnerable to listening to and believing people who present themselves as authority figures. This tracks back to George Lakoff’s finding that conservatives are most comfortable in a world that’s run along “strict father” lines, while progressives prefer a “nurturing family” model of society and politics.

Over on Fox “News,” a recent segment with Tucker Carlson suggested that vaccines are more dangerous than getting Covid. Why do conservatives fall for this kind of BS?

Multiple recent studies show that Republicans are as much as 8.5 times more likely to both believe and share fake or false “news” with others than are Democrats. The phenomenon is obvious, actually: while as many as half of Republicans believe the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump, there’s no similarly disprovable “big lie” embraced by Democrats.

And it’s not limited to things like elections that are overtly political: Republicans are more likely than Democrats to reject basic science about Covid, and thus die of the disease at much higher rates than Democrats.

Even when their lives and their families’ lives are at stake, Republicans let themselves be suckered into believing things that are easily proven false. It’s gotten so bad that Republicans are more than 400% more likely to be banned from Twitter than Democrats.

Why is this? It turns out there are several reasons.

First, conservatives are more vulnerable to listening to and believing people who present themselves as authority figures. This tracks back to George Lakoff’s finding that conservatives are most comfortable in a world that’s run along “strict father” lines, while progressives prefer a “nurturing family” model of society and politics.

While a strict father limits freedom, he also provides a sense of safety: “Father will protect and take care of you.” Putting your trust in authoritarian figures diminishes the complexity of life: there’s less to have to know or worry about if you believe that “father” has it all under control.

But it also makes conservatives more vulnerable to believing any old thing that “father” tells them.

Second, there’s more conservative misinformation out there than there is liberal misinformation. Thus, conservatives are more likely to be exposed to it and to share it.

To a large extent, this flows from the conservative worldview being more adolescent, narcissistic and “me-centered,” with the myth of the “rugged individual” at its center. Ayn Rand’s writing epitomizes this. ...
Read the full article at The Hartmann Report