I made a seemingly flippant comment the other day in response to some Republican glurge:
“If Republicans were convinced by facts, they would be Democrats”
For people who operate via reason and argumentation, it can sometimes be frustrating and immensely counterproductive to be arguing someone who is unreasonable. So much time and effort is spent arguing in the only way a reasonable person knows how: through dilligent research and arraying a formidable array of facts for one’s side. However, so few reasonable people seem to every ask why reason has been such a poor strategey historically in changing people’s minds.
Imagine that you had a friend who literally had a hypnotic voice. When he speaks to you, he could convince you that up was down or bats were bird or that bacon was not delicious. He’s your friend and you know that he cares for you and would never do anything actively to harm you but at the same time, wouldn’t the most prudent form of action be to block your ears every time he comes by and to listen to none of what he is saying?
For those who are adept at reason and believe they can hold their own in an argument, reason is a value free tool, neither good nor evil. But for a large bulk of society, reason is not a tool but a weapon. It’s the hypnotic ray that the privledged elite use to mind control an entire country. And what’s more, reason is outside of their grasp and they know it. If you were part of the disengfranchised majority, wouldn’t you decide that shutting your brain off is the only reasonable defense?