Everyone’s Like Me

One of my readers made a telling comment last week – that Republicans believe the election was “stolen” because they cannot believe they’re in the minority.

The first reaction of those who aren’t Republicans is likely disbelief. How can they believe something that’s so manifestly not so?

The answer to that lies in a simple observation. Given any choice in the matter, people tend to surround themselves or join with people who are like themselves, and they also tend to buy houses in places where they feel comfortable. Add to this the combination of the growth of cell phones, the internet, and a range of news services that all allow people to wall out anyone or any news they don’t want to believe in. So they instinctively come to believe that “most people are like me.”

This has almost inexorably led to a mindset whereby they believe that people like themselves are the only ones who count, and, in the case of Republicans, that mindset can be justified by the past, where all those who mattered were essentially white males. Since Republicans find it difficult to believe that there can be large numbers of women and minorities with money and political power, they attack specific individuals, particularly women, as “outliers” and unrepresentative, claiming that these individuals don’t represent “true” American values.

This leads to the dual fallacy that not only are Republicans really in the majority but also that those who don’t believe as they do aren’t truly “real Americans.”

So, if those who aren’t real Americans aren’t in the majority, they must have stolen the election from real Americans.

Of course, that line of thinking ignores the fact that the only real Americans are American Indians, because they were here first, and the ancestors of the Republicans’ “real Americans” stole the United States from those American Indians.

9 thoughts on “Everyone’s Like Me”

  1. Postagoras says:

    You can tell the Republicans have become simply tribal because they are just anti. They don’t think that the government can do anything for them. They just want to stop the government doing anything for anyone else.

    1. R. Hamilton says:

      The only thing the government should do for anyone is arrest, try, convict, and preferably execute criminals, and secure the borders. And keep ready the means to destroy foreign enemies before they cause problems here, whether physical or excessively economical. Maybe a little infrastructure, but that could as easily be private. The rest is largely unnecessary – a LITTLE regulation is probably unavoidable, but most is just burdensome to no good end.

      Anyone in need except those injured in the line of duty in public service is also a PRIVATE problem, to be addressed or ignored by volunteers. The government has NO business meeting needs on a general basis.

      You think we don’t believe in Darwin? Let Darwin remove the weak, save for those we individually (or in voluntary cooperation) care enough about to assist ourselves.

      So yeah, government shouldn’t even do things I like, like NASA, let alone breeding generations of parasites.

      But that has little enough to do with politics or party (except that I think that ALL leftists are every bit as totalitarian as fascists), and a whole lot to do with observation that survival is a heck of an incentive for people to NOT be parasites. Or to be parasites, if that’s the way the deck is stacked. Sometimes being seemingly merciless is kinder than coddling destructive behavior.

      And I also don’t think it’s meaningful to talk about caring about the mass of humanity or all citizens or all of any group (give or take a group defined in terms of a particular problem one feels challenged to address), but only about people one actually knows as individuals. The rest, give or take temporary problems like natural disasters, are the problem of someone that knows them.

      1. Shannon says:

        I fundamentally disagree with you on the purpose of government. That doesn’t mean that either of us is right or wrong. I have no desire to live in a society where government only deals in law enforcement and border control. Unfortunately for both of us, neither gets to dictate absolutely what kind of government we have, so we must compromise. The alternative is the government we have now which generally accomplishes little and wastes enormous resources in the process.

        1. But the problem right now is that neither side will compromise. The Republicans don’t want any change, and the Democrats want more than they have the votes for and refuse to compromise even within their own party.

      2. Michael Creek says:

        Very minimalist concept of Government. What about assuring property rights? How about providing a secure currency? I suppose you could go back to having private banks issuing their own currencies, but that would be a huge mess. How about providing infrastructure that everyone benefits from, like sewerage, clean potable water and so on. How about the entire legal system? What would be the alternative (a long time ago, I read a couple of libertarian novels that had dueling as the method of settling disputes. You seem to advocate for retaining the capacity for National Self-defence. How does the Government pay for this? Taxation? Border Duties on goods?

  2. Darcherd says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that Americans (and presumably much of the rest of the world) is increasingly able to surround themselves with ‘bubbles’ of like-thinking people, but there are an awful lot of women and even minorities who voted Republican in the last presidential election, so it is overly simplistic to merely characterize Republicans as the party of white male privilege. From what I’ve been able to discern, the issue with Republican failure to accept the results of the last election have less to do with not believing they are in the minority than with their devolution into a religious cult, where facts, logic, and reason are immaterial to deeply held articles of faith. They refuse to accept the results of the election because their infallible, divinely appointed leader continues to tell them the election was stolen.

    I also take hearty exception to R. Hamilton’s extreme libertarianism and vision of proper government. As a young man I, too, went through a libertarian phase, heavily influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand, but I was cured by reading more about the history of the U.S. in the ‘gilded age’ and realizing what actually can happen when we have a truly laissez-faire government: What quickly develops when the government provides no economic regulation or protection of minority rights is an oligarchy, where wealth and power steadily concentrates in the hands of the few at the expense of the many, and where dominant majorities are free to oppress and even murder minorities who try to assert and defend themselves, i.e. get too ‘uppity’.

  3. John Prigent says:

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, being a Brit with our own politics to worry about. But after reading your original post I can’t help asking: why are _Democrats_ so convinced that everyone is like _them_? It does seem to me that both your main political parties are reading from the same songsheet, but singing different tunes.

    1. Not quite, at least as I see it. The Democrats believe that everyone SHOULD be like them, while the Republicans believe most Americans ARE like them.

  4. Wine Guy says:

    The basic problem is communication. In order to communicate effectively, one must not only express oneself clearly, one must also take in what the other person is expressing clearly.

    Clearly, neither is happening.

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