Before getting into the substance of Laurie Higgins’ analysis, three quick additional points need to be made. First, it’s important to understand the obvious: just because one side of the argument dominates doesn’t make that side true. The late great novelist Michael Crichton addressed an important part of the phenomenon we all experience as a result of this one-sided barrage of misinformation. What happens is that sources that do not deserve to be taken as credible are granted all the credibility in the world.
Michael Crichton (Quoted)
Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I call it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story—and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all.
But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.
It’s not just the news media, of course. Pop culture—especially television and movies—is dominated by homosexual propaganda. If that wasn’t bad enough, very few parents are aware of the extreme left-wing ideological garbage that is being taught in taxpayer funded K-12 schools.
Second, it’s obvious that too many conservatives are nervous and intimidated by the social issues. This is the case even concerning abortion, which the polls show to be a winning political issue for Republicans. My answer to that is—it’s time to grow up, go to school, and learn how to defend common sense.
A lot of people have been party to an abortion, have had an extra-marital affair, or have a friend or family member who is living the homosexual lifestyle—and so these issues hit too close to home and as a result they steer clear of them. My view is that proximity to one’s life doesn’t change the reality or morality of the issue. Facts are facts, and it’s the good of society that matters, not your feelings. If you’ve got a conscience or cowardice problem that keeps you from speaking the truth, deal with it and get into the fight. Your voice is needed.
It’s a safe bet that few have gone to the trouble of studying the marriage/“civil union” controversy in any depth, but 31 state referendums have made it a big news story. To learn more, a series of articles here has delved into the matter in some detail. (As an aside, it’s not a small irony that the father of “homosexual marriage” is presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.)
The Republican Party’s platform calls for the defense of marriage. Unfortunately, few Republicans know how to defend it. Those who call themselves conservatives do only marginally better. If that’s the case on such a relatively straightforward issue – the prospects for properly dealing with issues like the following are worse:
If you click on that link, you learn that the documentary, in the words of Laurie Higgins—
— explores the troubling topic of Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID)… Those who suffer from BIID identify with amputees and seek to have their bodies align with their psychological identity.
Friends, the gap between common sense and society is getting bigger. What do you think that “T” stands for in “GLBTQQI”? Are employers ready to be forced to hire the mentally ill? Should kids in the public schools be taught that this is normal? After all, Gender Identity Disorder is a mental illness. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy cultural ride ahead.
Third and last, a lot has been written about the notion of our side issuing a moratorium on the dreaded social issues since supposedly Americans don’t care about culture or right and wrong, they just care about the economy. Baloney. Many writers have addressed the permanent connection between economics and morality (including this website).
Also, a new book by Jeffrey Bell titled “The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism” recently received a lot of attention. The bottom line, according to Bell, the facts prove that social conservatism is a winning political issue.
So please read on. People who would like to see themselves as enlightened and in favor of reason shouldn’t be afraid of addressing the fundamentals.
Read the entire series here.