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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

GOP USA -- Just How Dumb Are They?

I have no idea how I got on GOP USA's mailing list.  Normally I just skip them, but today's headline was "Obama Voters: Just how dumb are they?", and something made me click.  It brought me here,

They have some videos of some very young people making some pretty silly statements.  It's not clear which of them are the so-called "dumb" Obama voters.  Some of them are saying that they don't care that our ambassador was killed.  Some are saying that the video caused it, some are saying it wasn't the video, or that the video set it off.

They also had some interviews by Howard Stern, where the interviewer questioned a series of black people asking them false-premised questions like "Do you think Obama did the right thing by choosing Paul Ryan as a running mate?", or "Do you think they'll ever catch Bin Laden?"  And of course, you'll always be able to find people who simply answer questions like that without saying "what are you talking about?!"  In fact, even people who know better will sometimes assume that a person with credibility -- i.e. a seemingly serious interviewer -- is asking a legitimate question, and they'll proceed with an attempt to answer it.

Very few (if any) of the "dumb" people in the first video identified themselves as Obama supporters.  In fact, some of them were clearly against the U.S.'s (i.e. Obama's) continuation of the course of action that Bush started us on in the Middle East. While several in the second group identified themselves as Obama supporters, that's understandable -- they were clearly black, and clearly in the 47%.

So this is an even worse example of the "correlation"/"causation" fallacy.  In fact, the reasoning here is so flawed I'm not sure it even has a name.  All they've done is taken some people, some of them Obama supporters, and gotten them to say things on camera that seem either stupid, or unpatriotic, or in some cases, possibly both.

They've taken a miniscule, non-random sample (i.e. a sample selected by Howard Stern presumably for the very purpose of demonstrating the "dumbness" of the interviewees) and found that the people were "dumb" based on their failure to challenge the false-premised questions.  And because there is a "correlation" between "dumbness" and Obama-favoring in this sample, that somehow means that all Obama voters are dumb (or at least that's what the title implies).

So, not only are all rich people "job creators" because some of them are, but all Obama voters are "dumb" because some of them are.

What's sad is that THIS is the tactic that the GOP is using to mobilize ITS base to persuade them to go out and vote.  I hope you see where I'm going -- the GOP (or at least GOP USA, whatever that is) knows darn well that its own constituency is dumb, so it uses dumb arguments to persuade them that they are smart.  It might just work . . . . .!

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