WHY FACTUAL PERSUASION WON’T WORK THIS ELECTION

How we choose those sources is tied up in many things, including exposure, peer pressure, and especially confirmation bias. We want to receive information that confirms what we already suspect is true and we gravitate towards sources that make us feel that we are smart, and, increasingly, that those who disagree with us are stupid, unpatriotic, and evil.

All of this is not to say that you shouldn’t make the argument. Source-adherence is a continuum, and if we can move even 5% of Trump supporters, that will make a difference. But this phenomenon suggests that a better use of time might be increasing enthusiasm and turnout among people already predisposed to support us. Because yelling obscenities into the phone at our friends probably isn’t the most constructive thing we can do for the next 76 days.

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Daylin Leach

Daylin Leach

Long-time state House and Senate member, author of PA’s Medical Marijuana law, also creator of “shit-gibbon!” Comedian, professor, father of 2 awesome children!