I had something else planned for this morning, but at the last minute I got too annoyed thinking about a news story reported last night about a study just released from the PPP organization. Among the findings --
The study showed that 39% of Trump voters think the stock market went down under Obama. It actually skyrocketed and broke all records, going up 12,000 points.
Another result showed that 67% of Trump voters think the unemployment rate went up during the Obama Administration. In reality, it was cut by almost half, plummeteing from 7.8% when President Obama first took office down to 4.6% today.
And there's more. A full 40% of Trump voters think that he won the popular vote, despite actually losing it by 2.7 million and counting.
Keep in mind that these things the Trump voters don't think are true are all cold, hard facts. Not opinions with wiggle room. It's like saying, "I don't believe 2+2=4." Your opinion might be that 2+2=8, but if you write your opinion on an accredited grade school math test, you'll get an F. Every time.
Oh, and also 53% of Trump voters thought that California should not be included in the popular vote total. No, really.
It's important to note that these utterly uninformed thoughts were not held by other voters. So, it's not like there was a widespread misunderstanding of reality. All other groups, including independents and those who voted for all other third-party candidates, were clear about how the general public actually knows the facts, whether or not they like what the facts say. But the study showed it was only Trump voters who didn't grasp the real world. Who lived in their own fantasy, alternate universe.
A phrase I've begun using a lot lately is -- Willful ignorance is not a virtue.
What this study seems to show is that Trump bizarrely may have been absolutely right when he said during the primaries that he could probably shoot someone in the middle of New York, and his supporters would still follow him. It's beginning to almost look that way. And I'm not sure about the "almost."
The study certainly does show how a man who is completely ignorant of the job to be President of the United States, who says he relies on his own opinion, who knows more than the experts, who has zero experience in politics, foreign affairs and the military, who said he would defend Article 12 of the Constitution -- when there are only seven articles -- and on and on could have had so many people vote for him and get him elected. The ignorance lobby finally got represented in the White House.
And as "elitist" as calling such people "ignorant" may seem -- it only seems ignorant to ignorant people. Because when you think that the stock market went down during the past eight years, and in fact it exploded up by 12,000 points, far more than doubling... that is ignorant. And when you think the unemployment rate went up in those same eight years, and instead, in real life, it was drastically cut by nearly half...That is Ignorant. There's no other accurate word to describe it. And if one thinks that's elitist and arrogant and not fair -- your standards have disintegrated to nothingness, and you are ignorant. Maybe (bending over backwards to be fair) you're not ignorant about everything, and are a good, thoughtful, lovely person in all other regards, but you just have chosen to close your eyes to anything that's negative about your beloved Trump, and put your hands over your ears and chant, "Nah-nah-nah-nah-nummmmm," to block out all the noise you don't like and don't want to hear and don't want to know. Well, that's still ignorance, and it's ignorance by choice. And willful ignorance is no virtue.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously said, "You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts."
It remains true, no matter how much one might want to ignorantly argue to the contrary.
Willful ignorance is no virtue. Especially when you have the vote. And guns. Thank goodness for the new California law requiring background checks on ammunition.
And thank goodness California votes actually do count.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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