A common view on the left is that conservatives are simply uneducated, ignorant, and uninformed, and because of this they tend to accept all kinds of disinformation and crazy conspiracy theories. And like it or not, the vast majority are highly educated left-wing.
But “highly educated” is not the same as high informed. In this regard, the numbers and a little common sense tell us the real story.
However, in interacting with my liberal friends, I have noticed the exact opposite of the common perception that conservatives suffer from information problems. While conservatives are usually familiar with mainstream narratives And Alternative narratives, the vast majority of my liberal brethren are only I am familiar with the mainstream media’s perspective on current issues.
Name virtually any topic. It could be the Ukraine war, COVID-19, a collusion between the Biden administration and big tech to censor speech, the Trump impeachments, the events of January 6, 2021, or the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 . Liberals can safely parrot their propaganda to be fed, but they lack vast amounts of information.
That’s one reason it’s so difficult to communicate with liberals about politics: they think we’re ignorant idiots. In reality, most of us know what we know And additional facts that are completely unknown to them and that they reflexively dismiss. If you haven’t heard about it on MSNBC, is it even real?
Think about the war in Ukraine. Liberals seem completely unaware of this concrete, aggressive steps In 2014, under President Obama, the United States supported the ouster of Ukraine’s democratically elected, pro-Russian president and installed a hand-picked pro-Western president in his place. The coup was intended to look like a spontaneous democratic uprising, but Russian President Vladimir Putin perceived it as a threat. The led directly to the Russian occupation of Crimea almost immediately afterwards.
The liberals don’t know either the very specific and concrete steps Longtime Putin-hating war hawk Joe Biden took the initiative to expand Ukraine’s membership in NATO shortly after taking office. Biden knew full well that admitting a nation with deep ethnic, historical, linguistic and geographical ties to Russia into NATO – an alliance hostile to Russia – was a red line for Putin and would almost certainly lead to war. He and his government did it anyway.
They also do not know that back in April 2022, not long after the start of the war, Russia and Ukraine had agreed to a preliminary peace agreement under which Russia would withdraw to its pre-war positions and Ukraine would agree not to join NATO. But the USA and Great Britain nixed the deal because both countries had an interest in continuing the conflict.
Finally, liberals do not seem to realize that the war, which is strongly advocated by the military-industrial complex, leads to a massive increase in the demand for weapons and therefore a massive increase in the demand for weapons represents a billion-dollar profit for US and allied defense contractors. Meanwhile, billions in aid to Ukraine are being spent on public funds contributes to runaway inflation.
Of course, none of this means that Putin is a great man who launched the brutal invasion of Ukraine. But it must be said that the invasion did not take place for good reason under the watch of the anti-interventionist Donald Trump. The war began shortly after Biden and his team of neoconservative and neoliberal war hawks took power again.
When I say that liberals are unfamiliar with these facts, I do not mean that most conservatives know all or even some of this specific information on this particular topic. The fact that Conservatives are far more likely If the number of liberals who reject our continued role in arming Ukraine and expanding the conflict turns out to be liberal, it suggests that they may fall more into the general category of critical information about our intervention.
Rather, what I’m saying is that because of the wider range of information they are exposed to, conservatives are far more likely to come across these facts in one of their right-wing sources, as you just did. What’s notable is that even when a Democrat like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. makes some of these points, this is often the case in interviews with people like… Tucker Carlson And Sean Hannity.
The same pattern largely applies to numerous important facts about the COVID pandemic. liberal are far more likely To Trust “Science” instead of investigating it real Scienceand facts about COVID Origins, Lock out, Masks And Vaccinations. This also applies to other issues, from illegal immigration to speech censorship by big technology companies.
Why are these supposedly “highly educated” liberals often so ignorant and have a knee-jerk reaction to reality?
First, Research has shown that education today actually crystallizes political prejudices and correlates with intolerance towards one’s own ideological opponents. Education leads Democrats to have a particularly misperception of Republicans. As a “More in Common” project Research on the “perception gap.” shows that Democrats’ distorted view of Republicans and their beliefs increases with each additional degree. The researchers speculate that part of the effect may be due to the fact that as education increases, a larger percentage of those associated with Democrats (but not Republicans) hold almost exactly the same political views.
In other words, higher education plunges liberals into a left-wing ideological monoculture. Actually, as another survey As the American Enterprise Institute shows, many liberals—particularly liberal women—actively advocate for the crash itself further into this monoculture: Twice as many liberals (20%) as conservatives (10%) have ended a friendship over political differences, with liberal women (33%) leading the way in this shameful move. Anyone who has had the experience of dealing with the typical outspoken, intolerant, herd-oriented liberal woman who believes everyone outside her bubble is a Nazi supporter wouldn’t find this last data point all that shocking.
Significantly, more-in-common research also shows that those who consume the most media have the most biases (read:uninformed) views of the “other side”. So much for the media helping to educate us! But the larger point here is that when the media and everyone you come into contact with reflects your own views, you are inherently far less likely to approach those views with open-minded skepticism. This in turn leads to the lack of accurate information from alternative sources.
Ironically, it is a Marxist line of argument known as “standpoint theory,” which dates back to the work of the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukács and has been represented in various forms by feminist thinkers and others, such as the Brazilian Marxist educator Paolo Freire and the far-left critical theorist becomes Jose Medina, does a good job of explaining inequality in a similar but slightly different way. The basic idea of standpoint theory is this all Having access to mainstream information, various “oppressed” groups – poor, women, minorities, etc. – have access to additional information not available to them because of the life experiences that their outsider positions (viewpoints) on the margins of society provide. “privileged” people whose experience is solely of mainstream life. For example, they are proficient in several dialects – both the standard language and various patois, pidgins and creoles – and may be connected not only to popular culture but also to street culture.
The theory itself has its blind spots, as the reality is that members of “oppressed” classes are far less likely to dominate the general realm of advanced culture than at least some of the dominant group. But the point remains and applies particularly strongly to liberals and conservatives: The mainstream media is dominated by liberals and leftists, pretty much everyoneis trained in the prevailing left-wing views. But conservatives are inevitably familiar with both these views and conservative alternatives. Their perspective also inspires a healthy skepticism of dominant narratives, which leads to an openness to other people’s perspectives on the world – exactly what today’s intolerant liberals often lack.
And so we arrive at a nation in which those of us who believe ourselves to be the most educated, enlightened, tolerant and open-minded actually routinely embody the exact opposite of all of these virtues. Fixing these common liberal problems requires a generous dose of humility.
Alexander Zubatov is a practicing attorney in New York who specializes in general commercial litigation. He is also the author of poetry, fiction, drama, essays and polemics.