The larger problem is that conservatives generally an the Republican party specifically have moved not just further to the right but have embraced the extreme right, the fringies, the crazier than average wackobirds (to borrow a term from John McCain). Crazy is the new normal as the more moderates are driven out in purity purges. Gone are the days when a conservative like William F. Buckley drove out even more radical right wing haters like the John Birchers.
So I've decided to create a pastiche, a parody of Merg's Laws, Dee Gee's laws.
Dee Gee's first law is that conservatives believe things which are factually false. Not just the occasional factually inaccurate piece of information, but deeply, widely held beliefs which are nothing less than active, even aggressive denials of objectively established reality.
An example would be their denial of anthropogenic climate change, and all the attendant dangers of unprecedented global warming. Or those who deny evolution. Or those who propogate and believe revisionist history, particularly those who try to slant the Founding Fathers s pro-Christian theocrats. Or Obama was responsible for the murder of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, ignoring that he died of natural causes that were the result of an unhealthy life style.
The wildest example I have encountered this election cycle was a Trump supporter who believed - SINCERELY! - that Richard Nixon was a democrat. No amount of proof was persuasive otherwise; because..........conservative conspiracy theories.
GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. You put rubbish into your brain, you will get failed and faulty conclusions and beliefs as a result.
That should come as no surprise; there is an entire right wing media world that exists to propogate lies, whether it is Fox News, or the internet sites, or blogs, or social media. Today's news sources provided by BuzzFeed and by the Guardian news of the UK give us this example:
How Macedonia Became A Global Hub For Pro-Trump MisinformationBuzzFeed News identified more than 100 pro-Trump websites being run from a single town in the former Yugoslav Republic.“This is the news of the millennium!” said the story on WorldPoliticus.com. Citing unnamed FBI sources, it claimed Hillary Clinton will be indicted in 2017 for crimes related to her email scandal.
“Your Prayers Have Been Answered,” declared the headline.
For Trump supporters, that certainly seemed to be the case. They helped the baseless story generate over 140,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.
Meanwhile, roughly 6,000 miles away in a small Macedonian town, a young man watched as money began trickling into his Google AdSense account.
Over the past year, the Macedonian town of Veles (population 45,000) has experienced a digital gold rush as locals launched at least 140 US politics websites. These sites have American-sounding domain names such as WorldPoliticus.com, TrumpVision365.com, USConservativeToday.com, DonaldTrumpNews.co, and USADailyPolitics.com. They almost all publish aggressively pro-Trump content aimed at conservatives and Trump supporters in the US.
The young Macedonians who run these sites say they don’t care about Donald Trump. They are responding to straightforward economic incentives: As Facebook regularly reveals in earnings reports, a US Facebook user is worth about four times a user outside the US. The fraction-of-a-penny-per-click of US display advertising — a declining market for American publishers — goes a long way in Veles. Several teens and young men who run these sites told BuzzFeed News that they learned the best way to generate traffic is to get their politics stories to spread on Facebook — and the best way to generate shares on Facebook is to publish sensationalist and often false content that caters to Trump supporters.
As a result, this strange hub of pro-Trump sites in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is now playing a significant role in propagating the kind of false and misleading content that was identified in a recent BuzzFeed News analysis of hyperpartisan Facebook pages. These sites open a window into the economic incentives behind producing misinformation specifically for the wealthiest advertising markets and specifically for Facebook, the world’s largest social network, as well as within online advertising networks such as Google AdSense.
“Yes, the info in the blogs is bad, false, and misleading but the rationale is that ‘if it gets the people to click on it and engage, then use it,’” said a university student in Veles who started a US politics site, and who agreed to speak on the condition that BuzzFeed News not use his name.
Using domain name registration records and online searches, BuzzFeed News identified over 100 active US politics websites being run from Veles. The largest of these sites have Facebook pages that boast hundreds of thousands of followers.
BuzzFeed News also identified another 40 US politics domains registered by people in Veles that are no longer active. (An April report from the Macedonian website Meta.mk identified six pro-Trump sites being run from Veles. A Guardian report identified 150 politics sites.)
Let me be clear, I am not contending that there is 100% accuracy on the part of any area of the media. I have fact checked and corrected liberal misinformation. But unlike liberal news sources, which are consistently more ethical and professional journalism, there is no organized propaganda pushing on the left or int he center. Liberals are more willing to adjust their views to match changing information than conservatives. Which is why conservatives feel so attacked, and therefore angry and belligerent when their beliefs and factually falses world view is challenged.