|Krugman: Conservatives become less willing to look at the facts ... as they become better-educated
Digby sends us to Chris Mooney on how conservatives become less willing to look at the facts, more committed to the views of their tribe, as they become better-educated:
For Republicans, having a college degree didn’t appear to make one any more open to what scientists have to say. On the contrary, better-educated Republicans were more skeptical of modern climate science than their less educated brethren. Only 19 percent of college-educated Republicans agreed that the planet is warming due to human actions, versus 31 percent of non-college-educated Republicans.What Chris Mooney is telling us is that this is a vain hope. Highly educated political conservatives — and this includes conservative economists — are going to be less persuadable by empirical evidence than the man or woman in the street. The more holes you poke in doctrines like expansionary austerity or supply-side economics, the more committed they will get to those doctrines.
But it’s not just global warming where the “smart idiot” effect occurs. It also emerges on nonscientific but factually contested issues, like the claim that President Obama is a Muslim. Belief in this falsehood actually increased more among better-educated Republicans from 2009 to 2010 than it did among less-educated Republicans, according to research by George Washington University political scientist John Sides.
This debate isn’t going to be won by rational argument.
It's been obvious that republicans have been bound by ideology over real world evidence of what works and what has failed, but I had not seen the evidence of the inverse link with the level of republicans' education and openness to looking at the facts.