On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” journalist and former Conservative member of the UK Parliament Louise Mensch stated that the slogan “America First” is “a Nazi slogan being pushed by Russia, who are quite literally attacking, not only America, but the whole of the West.”
More and more I view leftist though processes as mostly about simple associations. A triggers the same emotions as B, so A must be like B. C triggers the same emotions as B, so C is like B and A. This leads to an argumentative style which tries to create these emotional associations. They are trying, in very child-like form, to create raw amygdala-linkages to aversive stimulus.
Here, “America first is a Nazi slogan pushed by Russia” seems a bizarre statement. How is America-first Nazi-esque? Who in Russia promoted it? It is patently ridiculous. But that is one liberal trying to influence the crowd using an argumentative style which, in their mind, should be highly effective.
The alternative is probably how you think. It involves a view of everything in terms of its purpose in a mechanism. To form opinions you need irrefutable facts. Your amygdala has two phases of triggering that drive action. The first amygdala agitation drives understanding. Until you understand the mechanism and the facts about it your amygdala will be irritated. The only way to assuage that irritation is truth, good, bad, or indifferent. The second amygdala drive is designed to drive the use of your understanding to produce a superior outcome. Only when you understand the mechanism, and know the facts are true, can your amygdala then relax with respect to understanding, and proceed to perform relevance-weighing on potential outcomes as you try to use the gathered information to positively affect outcomes.
As a result of this, K-strategist arguing always seems to head toward complex factual arguments designed to produce truth, and show how to use it to produce superior outcomes. But all liberals hear is a flood of sequential emotions, which they will either like and embrace, or dislike and reject.
Liberals seem to not get that far logically, probably due to r-selected conditions of ease and plenty making outcomes less important, and thus that ability fails to develop. For them, there is the initial emotional feeling they feel when they encounter the idea, and that determines whether they like or don’t like some concept. As a result, liberals arguing seems to come down to simply trying to identify triggering concepts, and attach them to various ideas the individual liberal does not like.
Viewed in that regard, the argument above would be brilliant, were the person it was presented to prone to simply attach feeling to an idea. That person would see a K-selected concept evoke the negative feelings of “Nazi” and “treason” and big bad “Russia.”
But given that most people think in a slightly more complex fashion than such simplistic liberals, this argument does little more than to illuminate the way leftists think, and how they assume others are best manipulated. It may show us however, how best to argue with the liberal mind.