You really can fool some of the people, all of the time
The Economist took an interesting look at how citizens view politicians when they lie, and their conclusion warrants concern:
“You might expect (or hope) that thoughtful people would be more amenable to the force of fact-based evidence than most. Alas, no. According to David Perkins of Harvard University, the brighter people are, the more deftly they can conjure up post-hoc justifications for arguments that back their own side.”
This leads well into a point Ryan Holiday made back in March, in It’s Not Enough to Be Right — You Also Have to Be Kind:
“There is this unshakeable assumption that if they can just present the right fact[, ...] that people will change their minds. ... After spending years and millions of words and hours of video on this, we’ve had almost zero success. Why? Because you can’t reason people out of positions they didn’t reason themselves into. No one responds well to having their identity attacked. No argument made in bad faith — that the person on the other side is a moron or a dupe or a racist or a snowflake — is ever going to be received in good faith.”
The sooner this becomes not just common knowledge, but also common practice, the sooner we can move beyond petty divisions and focus on steering the empire from total collapse.