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November 4, 2019

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Confirmation Bias and All Things Trump

 

I am a self professed political junkie that spends way too much of my personal time watching, reading and ingesting political information in order to put my world into a perspective I can understand. Another failing, is then I try to influence/educate others to my perspective. No doubt that is why I helped form this PAC, along with a group of like minded folks, that shared my concerns about the direction Hamilton County was heading as it related to fiscal constraint. 

 

But no one seems to care about fiscal conservatism these days outside of us "complainers" in Fiscal Conservatives of Hamilton County (as referenced by one of the Mayors in HamCo).  However, the one thing political that people do seem to care about is President Donald Trump. Both in the positive and of course in the negative and I think we can all agree MANY do so passionately. 

One thing I have noticed over these last two years , and admittedly fight with myself , is how much confirmation bias is involved in looking at Trump and his antics (ok, I did it again, I meant politics) . I looked up confirmation bias for those of you not fully versed on it and I settled on this definition.

 

Confirmation bias ; "is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.[1] It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. Confirmation bias is a variation of the more general tendency of apophenia.

In short this means we tend to view information in a way that confirms what we already think and we tend to ignore or dispute information that doesn't match up with our world views. 

For the last month or so the media has advised us that Mike Braun was in trouble because white suburban women voters were fleeing to support the incumbent Joe Donnelly .  So this morning we are greeted with the news that Mike Braun will be the next US Senator from Indiana with a Yuuuge 52% to 44% victory and everyone around the country thinks the media was offering "Fake news" about the anti -Trump voters. 

Another perceived bias is that HamCo is home to a large and safe republican majority that can be tapped into to offset democrat votes elsewhere in the state. From my (biased) perspective, HamCo is populated with many closest democrats that hold office by running (and winning) in GOP primaries and then historically haven't had to face any serious general election challengers. Thus they stay in office until they retire because the challengers in the primary are disadvantaged (see recent effort to pass sign ordinance right before the primary this year) and the myth is perpetuated that Democrats can't win in HamCo. 

Our review of the elections results in Carmel and Fishers might cause you to reflect on your own confirmation bias. It seems the media was correct in that white suburban voters did rebuke Trump by voting for Sen Donnelly OR the closet democrats are coming out into the open. You decide for yourselves.

 

All I know is if I was running the county GOP party (which thankfully I am not) I would be worried about the municipal elections next year. 

Is #MAGA appropriate here or not? 




 

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