by Jack Reeves
What explains today's extreme sociopolitical beliefs, e.g., a Kenyan communist Muslim is our illegal president, global warming is a hoax, the federal government intends to take away our guns and Second Amendment rights?
Fanned fear can cause the fear-prone to align with political parties that represent their beliefs. Because party hyper-ideology is advantageous, "false" and "irrational" lose relevance.
Belief that a comprehensive immigration bill will increase 'takers' has an ideological core. Consequently, the Congressional Budget Office's judgment that immigration reform would increase revenue and reduce the deficit can be unabashedly ignored or denied.
For many of this population, government is enemy; its role is disparaged – even in the American Dream.
Political belief that disregards fact is problematic. Unfortunately, ideologues have difficulty recognizing this as fact.
"Ay, there's the rub."
The above "letter to the editor" was published in the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Early this morning Jack received a phone call.
A male voice said, "Jack?" Jack said, "yes." The guy continued – "really? really? Is this Jack Reeves?"
At first, Jack thought it might be someone from Chattanooga who had contacted him by email about a class reunion. That is, until the guy began his rant about how he couldn't believe anyone could think the way Jack does. Ultimately, the guy's attack ended with him hanging up.
The guy had called Jack from his wife's cell phone from an area south of where Jack lives in Florida.
Ironically, the guy's tirade only proves Jack's point – facts are inconvenient truths for ideologues and when they are confronted with them, it makes them even more irrational.
Update: Jack has a crazy in his life. The guy called again, hanging-up after a dozen rings or more. Jack is refusing to answer the phone.