Ranking congressional Democrats have not only closed their minds but their ears as well to the facts behind a border situation that is about to explode like an IED in Baghdad. The only problem is that this detonation will be a lot closer to home and has many deleterious ramifications associated with it. Why listen to reality when you can make up an alternative one for yourself?
It’s Getting Scary, Folks
Wall denier-in-chief Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) shut down Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson and told her he “didn’t want to hear it,” according to sources who attended a White House meeting yesterday as reported first by The Daily Caller. Nielson had the audacity to try and inform lawmakers of the latest border information.
Democrats can’t seem to put their vitriol aside for a nanosecond and pay attention to the facts.
How dare she?
The wall is at the epicenter of the government shutdown, which seems to be here to stay. In addition to security issues, there appears to be a growing humanitarian crisis brewing at our southern border. Democrats don’t seem particularly interested in hearing about that either. But let’s face it, you can’t have it both ways.
On the one hand, you can’t claim to be the party seeking to heal every humanitarian catastrophe across the globe and on the other shut down someone trying to give you the details. You’d think more information about just what is going on and where would be in order if you were elected to public office. But Democrats can’t seem to put their vitriol aside for a nanosecond and pay attention to the facts.
And the fact is that a mass of humanity — men, women, and children — are trekking thousands of miles toward America’s southern border. You can read the report here for your edification. The Trump administration felt that a briefing by the DHS secretary would be educational for lawmakers.
How dare him.
But why listen to the facts when your mind is already made up. And there, my friends, is the rub.
The Psych Barrier
In a 2017 article in The New Yorker, author Elizabeth Kolbert extrapolates upon how “new discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.” Given the outlet that published that piece, one can deduce it had both barrels aimed at Donald J. Trump. Nevertheless, Ms. Kolbert makes several excellent points about why facts don’t matter to some people. And since turnabout is fair play … well, you know the rest.
Kolbert shares a Stanford Study that examines the predilection of the mind to form judgments and its inability to retreat from its first impression. The psychological test was conducted with two groups of students; both were asked to read a set of suicide notes and determine which were real and which were phonies. Despite the outcome, the testers told some students that they were brilliant at the exercise, others were told they weren’t good at it — but these were both deceptions. “The students who’d been told they were almost always right were, on average, no more discerning than those who had been told they were mostly wrong,” wrote Ms. Kolbert. But a funny thing happened on the way to the therapist:
“The students were told that the real point of the experiment was to gauge their responses to thinking they were right or wrong. (This, it turned out, was also a deception.) Finally, the students were asked to estimate how many suicide notes they had actually categorized correctly, and how many they thought an average student would get right. At this point, something curious happened. The students in the high-score group said that they thought they had, in fact, done quite well—significantly better than the average student—even though, as they’d just been told [emphasis added], they had zero grounds for believing this. Conversely, those who’d been assigned to the low-score group said that they thought they had done significantly worse than the average student—a conclusion that was equally unfounded.”
Thus, Kolbert concludes, “’Once formed,’ the researchers observed dryly, ‘impressions are remarkably perseverant.’” In other words, the mind has a way of keeping a tight grip on what it was initially told to believe. It becomes a challenge to let facts sift through a well-established judgment. Or put simply by one’s mother: First impressions are lasting. Another unsophisticated way to make the point is to say that as it turns out — facts aren’t stubborn things – thoughts are.
Democrats won’t listen because they refuse to abide by something they don’t want to believe. Why turn your world on end with the facts, when you can sally forth in blissful ignorance? We have little reason to think leftists will change their minds about the border wall. So perhaps the White House should employ another strategy to fund it: When you can’t get through something, often it is best to go around it.
Here are several options for the president: He can do what he promised during the 2016 presidential campaign and force Mexico to pay for the wall. Or he can get White House lawyers to determine the legality of redirecting funds from the Defense Department — and/or other executive branch agencies — to the border wall, a process that is likely already underway. The alternatives may take some creativity but trying to convince someone that their thinking is wrong with the facts has proven to be futile. Now you know why.