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I think a fairly reasonable way of describing the ideal way to come up with political positions is this:
- Use empirics, reason, and philosophy/theology to determine your core values
- Search out for facts to help you understand what courses of action best help you maximize those values, make the best trade-offs, etc.
I'd like to believe all of us are pretty committed to being based in fact. Especially with respect to the opposite commitment, which is not caring at all about facts.
But how committed are you, really?
Here at ReConsider we like to harp on the idea that behind the mass of negativity and hyperpartisanship that dominates American politics, there are mostly shared values.
In Wedged we demonstrated this agreement in case studies. We showed that on even divisive issues such as guns, abortion, and taxes, most people will agree on core values most of the time. We posited that this agreement on values probably extended to other issues.
We eagerly awaited a broader study.
And then we got one!
I know I've been on a Trump streak lately. (Not a Trump Steak, luckily.) But a lot about Trump and Russia has come out in the past two weeks. Just as every bit of news about Trump inspires some quite excitable reactions from just about everyone, this has, too.
There's a bit of a spectrum on how people are interpreting what's coming out. On the one hand, there's a Witch Hunt, which may or may not involve everyone from the Deep State to most news organizations to George Soros. On the other hand, Trump is actually whole-cloth puppet of Putin--either by bribing or blackmail, he actually works for Russia and anything that is not Putin's personal agenda is a distraction. I'm going to make the case that both of these are fairly popular positions. See:
- Hannity: Mueller's "Witch Hunt" coming to an end?
- Colbert: "The only thing Trump's mouth is good for is being Putin's cock holster"
Perhaps reality is a little more complicated than either of these.