Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of Donald Trump. I find his popularity, especially among Christians, to be baffling. My friend, Michael Kruse, who blogs over at Kruse Kronicle, recently posted the following on social media with a link. He has given me permission to quote him in full (italics belows). I think Michael is spot on. He calls out the media for how often they purposefully misrepresent the views of persons they disagree with. Nuance is not something the media seems to understand. Folks... let's disagree on substance and not on caricature.
What say you?
Okay. Here is prime case for considering how you deal with confirmation bias. I do not like Trump. His rise in the GOP is very disturbing to me. Now a headline comes out saying 20% of his supporters disapproved of freeing the slaves. Bam! Bias confirmed. Post to Facebook what a despicable group his followers are.
Just one problem, if you read the article, the headline is bogus. Based on the content of the article, the headline should read "Nearly 20 percent of Trump's supporters disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves through executive order." The surveyors asked if people approved of presidents using executive orders. Many of Trumps supporters were in the negative. Then they asked respondents if they thought presidents should have used an executive order in a number of instances when such was the case. It seems 20% said no to Lincoln's use of an e. o. to free slaves. (Footnote: I saw a fascinating exhibit at the Truman Library about Lincoln and the Constitution. There are many principled scholars who judge some of Lincoln's acts as unconstitutional or at a minimum highly questionable. That does not mean those scholars support slavery.) I suspect a great many of those who responded negatively would argue slavery should have been ended via other means.
Now having misrepresented the views of Trump's supporters, fuel is added to legitimizing their grievances against mainstream institutions. Again, when a news item seems too good to be true in confirming our biases, it often is. And if we are going to insist Trump be truthful, then so must we.
Here's the article Michael is referring to-- "Nearly 20 percent of Trump's supporters disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves."
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)