The Exaggerators

For some reason I get bombarded with political emails, from both the left and the right, but the right sends almost ten times as many as the left. Here is a representative sample of the message subject lines of those from the right.

The Left is Coming for Us
Drunk Kamala Goes Viral
Riots Break Out- National Guard Deployed
Veterans Sacrificed for Migrants
Leftist Protesters Threaten My Home
President Trump to Win Nobel Prize
Say a Prayer for the January 6th Prisoners
US Days Away from Major Terror Attack
Stop Biden’s Deep State Apparatus
Jack Smith Hides Trial Facts
Joe Biden’s Cognitive Failure Even Worse!
White House’s Dereliction of Duty!
The Woke Mob Removed Founding Father’s Statue

And here are some of the message subject lines from the left.

Undecided Voters Not Breaking for Me
$7 Million in Negative Ads from SuperPac
Planet for Our Future
Our Numbers Need to Improve
Did you get the Invite?
We’re being Outspent by Dark PACs

Notice a certain difference?

Those from the right are pointed and eye-catching, and every one is somewhere between an exaggeration and a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

Those from the left tend to be more factual – and boring.

I can assure you that for months the tone and substance of the ads from the left and right haven’t varied, but it does strike me that the ceaseless eye-catching exaggerations are bound to have some effect.

5 thoughts on “The Exaggerators”

  1. Christopher Robin says:

    I teach a current issues high school class. The first thing I have students do is record the headlines each day from the major news web sites. The tone varies considerably and while seeing what topics each prefers to emphasize is a lesson all its own, the emotional response the headlines are trying to illicit is even more revealing. The vast majority of headlines from the Right are trying to induce fear or outrage, and often both at the same time. “The Left is Coming for Us” is a typical means to induce the readers into action of some sort. It is why so many are willing to support the guy that is unrestrained in his comments against this perceived “assault” at the cost of ignoring his even more dangerous and destructive approach to politics. I find it ironic that the group most likely to reference the Constitution is also the one supporting the greatest danger to it since the Civil War. Fear is a very powerful motivator.

  2. Tom says:

    A potential explanation:

    I still think that there is a large directional impression from social media and our desire to be served what we seem to want according to what AI or the app considers to be our desire.

  3. Hanneke says:

    I can’t read the whole Atlantic article, it ends here; but I foundthis last sentence I could read quite striking. “Today’s communal culture is based on a shared belief that society is broken, systems are rotten, the game is rigged, injustice prevails, the venal elites are out to get us; we find solidarity and meaning in resisting their oppression together. Again, there is a right-wing version (Donald Trump’s “I am your retribution”) and a left-wing version (the intersectional community of oppressed groups), but what they share is an us-versus-them Manichaeism. The culture war gives life shape and meaning.”

    Mr.Modesitt has talked on here about some of the ways in which systems of economic opportunities, justice, political representation and more are at present being applied unequally to different people within the USA; the system *is* at present, rigged in many ways, and often unjust in its application.

    Sweeping people who note the factual inequalities into the same label-groups as those who have constructed a mental image of such inequalities and injustices in their minds that *does not* correllate with the measured effects in the real world, seems to me to be a clear example of “both-sides-ism” that obscures the real problems just to avoid triggering those who live in those illusions.
    How do you get the real problems solved, if you equate disagreement about what the problems are to a specific mindset, rather than to disinformation about what is actually happening in the real world, to the point where aknowledging the real issues causes cognitive dissonance for the groups that have grown estranged from the world?

    1. Postagoras says:

      Hanneke, very well said!

      I have no idea how to bridge the differences with the current Republican party voters.

      I remember reading about the dissolution of the Whig party in history books. At the time I couldn’t fathom how a once-vibrant political party could just evaporate. Now I understand, having watched the Republican party get replaced by the current entity wearing the facade of the GOP.

  4. Tom says:

    “… Those from the right are pointed and eye-catching, and every one is somewhere between an exaggeration and a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Those from the left tend to be more factual – and boring. …”

    Which agrees with the present Atlantic article about people needing chaos. (By Derek Thompson The Atlantic FEBRUARY 23, 2024)

    “ … One moment in history gives me hope. In the 1950s, as I’ve noted, the McCarthy era brought a wave of paranoia about communists under every bed. But that moment generated a cultural recoil that eventually led to, for instance, John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, one of the most lavishly optimistic addresses in American history: “Together, let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate diseases, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.” And it wasn’t so long ago that Barack Obama thrilled millions with his gospel of hope and change. We shouldn’t let our current season of gloom and menace become self-fulfilling, but rather should help make the country ripe for a communalism of belonging. History shows that it doesn’t pay to be pessimistic about pessimism.”

    I am hoping that event, which is proposed in the final paragraph in the David Brooks article, will repeat with a vengeance. That is, like Leeris, we get over our boredom and nihilism as we find personal constructive goals for which to strive.

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