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6 reasons politicians believe they can lie


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#1    OverSword

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:46 PM

From the article:
  • Many politicians are narcissists. Though research on politicians is limited, it isn’t difficult to see the connection. Narcissists are arrogant, self-important, see themselves as special, require excessive admiration, have a sense of entitlement, and are exploitative. If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it’s probably a duck. This constellation of narcissistic attributes causes them to believe that they are right and, even if they are not, they’re too smart to be caught or suffer the consequences. In other words, they believe their own BS. Case in point: As John Edwards, the former senator and vice presidential nominee, noted, “[My experiences] fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe you can do whatever you want.”
  • Politicians know their followers will believe them, even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Politicians and their adherents live in an echo chamber in which everyone watches the same news channel, listens to the same talk radio, reads the same newspapers and web sites, and hangs out with the same like-minded people. There exists an impermeable membrane that prevents conflicting information from entering. The content of the lies is also usually red meat for the politicians’ ravenous base who are only too happy to chew on it for days on end.
  • People don’t want to hear the truth. Truth, as the saying goes, hurts and no one wants to hear things that threaten their existence, their beliefs, or that will make them uncomfortable. It is decidedly better for politicians to tell people what makes them feel comfortable. Why should politicians be the purveyors of bad news (and decrease the likelihood of getting people’s votes) when they can tell fairy tales with happy endings (which, of course, everyone wants) and come out the victor.
  • The Internet never forgets. One of the unintended consequences of the Internet is that information, true or not, lives on forever and it is likely to continue to be believed even in the face of contradictory evidence. Research has shown, for example, that people are more likely to believe unsubstantiated rumors about a political candidate they oppose when read in emails and on blogs.
  • Cognitive biases. Daniel Kahneman and others have demonstrated that the human mind engages in many cognitive tricks to help people be more efficient, reduce confusion and anxiety, and keep life simple and coherent. Examples include the confirmation bias which involves the inclination to seek out information that supports our own preconceived notions; the Semmelweis reflex which is the predisposition to deny new information that challenges our established views; and the overconfidence effect which involves unwarranted confidence in one’s own knowledge, just to name a few.
  • If a lie is told enough times, people will assume it is true. It is not a stretch to understand why people would believe something if they hear it enough. People expect that lies will be disproved and fade away. So if the lies continue to be heard, people assume, then they must be true. Case in point: John Kerry being “Swift Boated” during the 2004 presidential campaign.
The rest of the article is here


#2    theotherguy

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:51 PM

The lies do tend to be discovered, though. For a major example right now, check out the Leland Yee story. Admittedly, some politicians do get away with their lies for long enough to cause all sorts of damage, but in the end, the truth will usually come out.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."  --Isaac Asimov

Conspiracy theorists are created by the government to distract us from what they're really doing!!!! Or not.

#3    questionmark

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:11 PM

Sorry, but ALL politicians are narcissists, without a certain degree of narcissism nobody would take the task upon them.

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#4    redhen

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:28 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 25 April 2014 - 08:11 PM, said:

Sorry, but ALL politicians are narcissists, without a certain degree of narcissism nobody would take the task upon them.

Not all, but most I would say. There are a few politicians who used their influence for good. My prime example is William Wilberforce, a 19th century British parliamentarian. After almost single-handedly abolishing the slave trade, he went on to co-found the RSPCA, the world's first animal welfare institution, and advocate for other social concerns, child welfare being just one.

If anyone is interested in his story, I can send you a link to the 2006 movie Amazing Grace.

So the question is, where is our 21st century William Wilberforce ?


#5    questionmark

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:35 PM

View Postredhen, on 25 April 2014 - 08:28 PM, said:

Not all, but most I would say. There are a few politicians who used their influence for good. My prime example is William Wilberforce, a 19th century British parliamentarian. After almost single-handedly abolishing the slave trade, he went on to co-found the RSPCA, the world's first animal welfare institution, and advocate for other social concerns, child welfare being just one.

If anyone is interested in his story, I can send you a link to the 2006 movie Amazing Grace.

So the question is, where is our 21st century William Wilberforce ?

And he had no need at all for public recognition, right?

Well, that is what narcissism is all about, especially when in the public eye.

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#6    redhen

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:12 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 25 April 2014 - 08:35 PM, said:

And he had no need at all for public recognition, right?

Well, that is what narcissism is all about, especially when in the public eye.

No, from all accounts he was a humble man. After a religious conversion he wanted to drop out of public life all together but was dissuaded by John Newton, an Anglican clergyman, and author of the hymn Amazing Grace.


#7    questionmark

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:18 PM

View Postredhen, on 25 April 2014 - 09:12 PM, said:

No, from all accounts he was a humble man. After a religious conversion he wanted to drop out of public life all together but was dissuaded by John Newton, an Anglican clergyman, and author of the hymn Amazing Grace.

Almost all religious denomination founders give themselves as humble people, while that at narcissism test they all score in the top range (in fact a high narcissism score is imperative to the success of a public figure).

Nobody does anything for nothing. And the less they want in return the more you can bet on a narcissistic personality.

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#8    OverSword

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:55 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 25 April 2014 - 09:18 PM, said:

Nobody does anything for nothing. And the less they want in return the more you can bet on a narcissistic personality.

Wow, you're certainly in a cynical mood today.


#9    questionmark

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:02 PM

View PostOverSword, on 25 April 2014 - 09:55 PM, said:

Wow, you're certainly in a cynical mood today.

nope, that is past cynicism and generally known as realism.

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#10    redhen

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:06 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 25 April 2014 - 09:18 PM, said:

Almost all religious denomination founders give themselves as humble people

William Wilberforce did not found a religion, he founded the RSPCA,  because he cared about slaves, children and animals; those with no voice.

Quote

Nobody does anything for nothing. And the less they want in return the more you can bet on a narcissistic personality.

May I ask how you came by this "knowledge" ?


#11    questionmark

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:09 PM

View Postredhen, on 25 April 2014 - 10:06 PM, said:

William Wilberforce did not found a religion, he founded the RSPCA,  because he cared about slaves, children and animals; those with no voice.



May I ask how you came by this "knowledge" ?

Look what  I studied under about me.

Edited by questionmark, 25 April 2014 - 10:09 PM.

A skeptic is a well informed believer and a pessimist a well informed optimist
The most dangerous views of the world are from those who have never seen it. ~ Alexander v. Humboldt
If you want to bulls**t me please do it so that it takes me more than a minute to find out

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#12    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:43 PM

View Posttheotherguy, on 25 April 2014 - 07:51 PM, said:

The lies do tend to be discovered, though. For a major example right now, check out the Leland Yee story. Admittedly, some politicians do get away with their lies for long enough to cause all sorts of damage, but in the end, the truth will usually come out.
These days the lies are uncovered.
But most politicians are from a time before the Internet was as big as it is, they don't quite get how easy the common man is finding it to disprove what they say. Case in point the *insert abuse here* in Queensland Australia. They've just launched a massive campaign to convince people that ports, mining and shipping aren't responsible for the damage to the Great Barrier Reef, except TWO of the three things they mention as being the major causes are the result of man's activities (the crown of thorn starfish are only on the reef because of shipping for example) and anyone who's read a textbook or uses the Internet can find that out.
A few years ago, their commentary (for want of a less inflammatory word then "propaganda")  would have passed with little or no comment. Nowadays everyone has access to the facts.


#13    Taun

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:44 PM

I would think the the main reason they think they can get away with lying, is because for the past 6,000 years or so... they have...


#14    spud the mackem

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:36 PM

View PostTaun, on 25 April 2014 - 10:44 PM, said:

I would think the the main reason they think they can get away with lying, is because for the past 6,000 years or so... they have...
  I've been saying this since Moses was a baby, ALL Politicians lie and cheat, they promise the earth until they get elected, then you may get a handful of mud.

(1) try your best, ............if that dont work.
(2) try your second best, ........if that dont work
(3) give up you aint gonna win

#15    Taun

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 12:04 AM

View Postspud the mackem, on 25 April 2014 - 11:36 PM, said:

I've been saying this since Moses was a baby, ALL Politicians lie and cheat, they promise the earth until they get elected, then you may get a handful of mud.

Just think how screwed up things would be if they gave us everything they promise...





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