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Are Trump Supporters Too Dumb To Know They’re Dumb? Science Says “Probably”

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Are Trump Supporters Too Dumb To Know They’re Dumb? Science Says “Probably”

How the hell can anybody call themselves intelligent when they’re supporting Donald Trump? It’s a question that baffles people who are able to think critically, able to read and comprehend both history and current events, and able to see through Trump’s thin façade of know-it-all-ism and deep into what he is – an ignorant, narcissistic, and dangerous conman.

Trump supporters not only don’t see this, they’re happy that there’s someone running for president that thinks exactly like them. Take Melanie Austin, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania. She thought her beliefs about Obama being a gay Muslim from Kenya and Michelle being transgender were just fringe beliefs – right up until she started hearing similar stuff from Trump and other right-wing extremists.

Now she knows she’s right about all of this. You can’t tell her that she’s ignorant and dumb if she can’t figure this out for herself. You can’t tell her she’s delusional. You can sit there with her, and countless others like her, and present facts, figures, charts, studies, and more, all from the most reputable sources there are, and prove that her lord and savior is wrong, and you’ll still get shot down.

There’s more to this than the problem of confirmation bias. Austin gets much of her information from fringe right-wing blogs and conspiracy sites, but that’s not all of it. Many of Trump’s supporters are seriously too dumb to know they’re dumb. It’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect, and it’s an unshakeable illusion that you’re much smarter, and more skilled and/or knowledgeable, than you really are.

People like Austin labor under the illusion that their knowledge about things is at least as good as, if not better than, the actual facts. For these people, though, their knowledge isn’t just superior – it’s superior even to those who have intimate and detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. Trump himself has exemplified this countless times, such as when he claimed he knows more about ISIS than even our military generals do.

His fans simply take his word for it, and believe that because he knows, they know. They are literally incapable of seeing that they don’t know.

To be sure, the Dunning-Kruger effect is present everyone all across the political spectrum, and indeed, in every walk of life. We all overestimate our abilities and knowledge somewhere. However, the effect is especially pronounced in people with limited intellectual and social skills:

“[P]eople who are unskilled in [intellectual and social domains] suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.”

So basically, yes, it’s possible to be too dumb to realize you’re dumb.

In four separate studies, people who scored in the bottom quarter on tests involving everything from humor to logic, and even to grammar, grossly overestimated where they thought they would score. They averaged scores in the 12th percentile, while their average estimate of their own scores was the 62nd percentile.

The researchers attribute that huge discrepancy to a literal inability to distinguish accuracy from error. Or, to put it another way, those who are the most lacking in skills and knowledge are the least able to see it.

Take the case of McArthur Wheeler, a man who robbed two banks in 1995 and was caught rather easily. He thought he would get away with it because he rubbed his face with lemon juice, which is used in invisible ink. To test the theory that lemon juice would turn him invisible, he rubbed it on his face, took a Polaroid, and his face wasn’t in the picture! So he thought he was safe from security cameras because he could make his face invisible.

He was shocked when police caught him because of that, saying, “But I wore the juice.” He literally couldn’t see the ridiculousness of that line of thought.

David Dunning, one of the first to catalog the Dunning-Kruger effect (hence its name), has studied human behavior—including voter behavior—for decades. He penned an op-ed in Politico that explains why this effect is so pronounced in Trump’s supporters:

“It suggests that some voters, especially those facing significant distress in their life, might like some of what they hear from Trump, but they do not know enough to hold him accountable for the serious gaffes he makes. They fail to recognize those gaffes as missteps.

… Again, the key to the Dunning-Kruger Effect is not that unknowledgeable voters are uninformed; it is that they are often misinformed—their heads filled with false data, facts and theories that can lead to misguided conclusions held with tenacious confidence and extreme partisanship, perhaps some that make them nod in agreement with Trump at his rallies.”

Trump is completely inept, and his supporters are way too poorly-informed to know that he’s inept, and too dumb themselves to know how dumb they are. That’s why Trump’s supporters are so sure they’re smart and their president is smart that they won’t listen to reason. The effect is strong in these people.

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Sarah Sanders is sorry, not-sorry for lying about President Obama

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Sarah Sanders is sorry, not-sorry for lying about President Obama

 

TIME / YouTube Sarah Sanders Delivers Briefing Amid Allegations...
TIME / YouTube

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dialed her smarminess up to eleven to deliver some Trump-bragging economics.

Sanders: This President since he took office, in the year and a half that he’s been here, has created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans. That’s 700,000 African-Americans that are working now that weren’t working when this President took place. When President Obama left, after eight years in office, he had only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans.

That statement was partly right. In that Obama was president for eight years. Everything else about it was a mistake. Which Sanders then proceeded to rectify with a solid non-pology.

Sanders: Correction from today’s briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres Trump and Pres Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres Obama wasn’t. I’m sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump

Though CNN has determined that this somehow counts as an apology, what it really amounts to is a swift kick in the facts. Under President Obama, three million African Americans found jobs. Meaning that Obama generated 700,000 jobs on average in about … the same time that Trump has been in office. Which isn’t surprising, since Donald Trump inherited Barack Obama’s economy—an economy so robust that so far it’s held together through the robbery of Trump’s tax cut for billionaires and the boneheaded-ness of his tariffs for revenge.

Though, while the averages may look similar, Obama took office in the midst of the Great Recession, a record economic downturn generated by Republican policies. Meaning that his first year in office was spent just implementing policies to try and put the country back on track. Since then, Obama created jobs at a more rapid rate than has happened under Trump.

And in the effort to create a cover-up for Sanders, the Council of Economic Advisers for Trump generated another big lie.

At least the apology here includes the word apology—stacked on top of deliberate misinformation.

Take a look at the dates on the “first 20 months” listed above. Obama did not start his term in November of 2008. Neither did Donald Trump start in November of 2016.

Trump’s CEA is deliberately cramming in an extra quarter of Bush’s economic crash into Obama’s first term, and just as deliberately gifting Trump with a boom quarter delivered by Obama. All to make Trump’s numbers look far better than they really are while denigrating President Obama.

So … Sanders “apologizes” for her lie by not apologizing. The Council of Economic Advisers uses the word apology, but ladles on made-up numbers.

Which one is worse?

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Trump Tower Became “A Cathedral to Russian Mafia Money Laundering”

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Trump Tower Became “A Cathedral to Russian Mafia Money Laundering”

 

krisjaus / Flickr Trump Tower...
krisjaus / Flickr

Investigative journalist Craig Unger holds nothing back in his new book House of Putin, House of Trump. In the book, Unger finds that Trump was targeted by the Russian mob long ago, as far back as 1984. This is not the first time I have heard these allegations, having seen them in Vanity Fair and New York magazine. It seems difficult to argue that these allegations aren’t based on solid fact. Transcript per Rawstory

“I go back nearly 40 years, and I see essentially the greatest intelligence operation of our times,” Unger said. “It started off in 1984 with a man who has ties to the Russian mafia, and he meets with Donald Trump in the Trump Tower, the supreme moment of Donald Trump becoming a master of real estate in the United States — and what we end up seeing is Trump Tower become sort of a cathedral of money laundering.”

The mob associate paid $6 Million in cash for five units. Paying cash for real estate ought to have been a giant tip that something is wrong. Any one time payment on real estate is usually one of the worst investments one can make, most of the time it is far better to pay the interest on a bank note and leave the lump sum making a better rate invested elsewhere. It is a mob move, because often they cannot “invest” their money in anything that would involve a bank. Unger tracked hundreds of similar transactions over the decades.

Not only did Trump get cash payments up front, but he was one of the first two high-end developers to allow anonymous purchases:

“That sets off a pattern that goes on for the next 30 years or so, in which over 1,300 condos are sold in what appears to be money laundering,” Unger said. “They have two characteristics. One, they are all cash purchases. Two, they are shell purchases, they’re anonymous purchases. The records don’t show who the true owners are.”

To make things worse, Unger notes that for all practical purposes, there’s no functional difference between the original Russian mob/oligarchs and Putin’s intelligence services. They are now essentially one in the same.

“I can’t get inside Donald Trump’s mind, but he’s meeting with this guy,” Unger said. “We know there are about 1,300 other operations in which he’s profiting heavily from that. If he can go through that and doesn’t figure that out, he’s either inexplicably stupid or there is a legal concept of willful blindness, and perhaps that’s what’s going on.”

I don’t think Trump is so naive or stupid as to not know exactly what was happening. I suspect it is obvious that when it comes to money, Trump simply doesn’t care about the origin, only that it ends up with him.

***Facebook has given us trouble over the last few days, unable to differentiate between trouble-making foreign sites and genuine homegrown verified news sites dedicated to American politics. We’ll be back on Facebook Friday, and all of my articles can always be viewed from Twitter @MiciakZoom, and every article at @Politizoom


A note from the author: If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy my other writing. Get my books on Amazon now.


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Hackers have already weighed in help ‘Putin’s favorite Congressman’ Dana Rohrabacher

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Hackers have already weighed in help ‘Putin’s favorite Congressman’ Dana Rohrabacher

 

Bloomberg Politics / YouTube Rep Rohrabacher Likens U S Actions...
Bloomberg Politics / YouTube

A Democratic challenger to Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican congressman so obviously in the pocket of Vladimir Putin that other Republican congressmen joke about how he’s in the pocket of Vladimir Putin, is going public over hacking attempts that plagued his campaign before the recent primary. Stem-cell scientist Dr. Hans Keirstead lost the June 5 primary in California Congressional District 48 by a razor-thin 125 votes, finishing behind Rohrabacher and real estate investor Harley Rouda in California’s top-two primary system.

But, according to Rolling Stone, Keirstead had more to worry about in his race than just trying to finish ahead of the pack. Starting in August 2017, Keirstead was subject to a “spear-phishing attempt” similar to those used in infiltrating the accounts of Democratic consultant John Podesta and members of the DNC.  It’s not clear that this effort allowed the hackers into Keirstead’s system, but a few months later his campaign suffered “a sophisticated and sustained” hacking effort. In one month, bots fired off ID/password combinations at Keirstead’s campaign server—more than 130,000 attempts in all. The hacking attempts continued for another six weeks after that, going after the campaign’s hosting service and Twitter account.

Keirstead’s campaign passed word of the attacks to the DCCC, which in turn called in the FBI. The FBI followed up, but the results of their investigation aren’t yet known.

Both Keirstead and Rouda were widely regarded as attractive candidates to take on Russophile Rohrabacher. Ex-Republican businessman Rouda had the support of the DCCC. More progressive candidate Keirstead was endorsed by the state Democratic Party. It’s not immediately clear that Rohrabacher benefits from facing one candidate over another. Rouda might actually be a better fit for the general election in this district. But it does seem interesting that a candidate going up against a congressman noted for his pro-Russian views was a victim of early attention from hackers.

Total Republican votes in the heavily-red district exceeded Democratic votes 92,309 to 80,065. However, Rohrabacher may not immediately take this as a guarantee of victory. In 2016 primaries, Rohrabacher took 57 percent of the vote—a value that was within a point of his eventual total in the general election. This year, in a greatly expanded field, Rohrabacher netted only 30 percent of the vote while the top two Democrats pulled 35 percent. To get over the victory line, Rohrabacher will have to convince a lot of disaffected Republicans to come home again.

Republicans had hoped to make the general election a Republican-on-Republican event, and in the last days before the election, Democrats worried that infighting between the Keirstead and Rouda camps might produce exactly those results. Democratic Party officials worried that Democrats would be “locked out” in the general election and lose their chance to take out Rohrabacher .

Scott Baugh—a friend of Rohrabacher’s—ran as another well-known Republican in the race, and likely vacuumed in a good number of GOP votes aimed at knocking Democrats off the ballot. But Baugh finished behind both Rouda and Keirstead.

Following the narrow victory, Keirstead immediately called Rouda to offer his support for the fall. There was no suggestion of a recount.

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