For several years liberals have wondered why any American would purposely support Republican policies when they are contrary to their own best interests. It cannot possibly be due to their racial animosity toward an African American President, or because they enjoy being an integral part of their own pain and suffering. What also flummoxes many Americans is why in dog’s name Republican politicians make absurd, hateful, and blatantly mendacious statements that their base accepts as gospel truth. One would think that even a half-wit would use a semblance of intelligence to determine the lack of veracity and logic of Republican pronouncements, but that never happens and science explains why.
If the mountain of lies, hate and fear-mongering at the Fox News Republican presidential debate did not convince any American that Republicans are confident their base is stupid enough to believe any ridiculous statement, there are several scientific, peer-reviewed studies that were compiled by Curtis Fease in his article 5 Scientific Studies That Prove Republicans Are Plain Stupid that reinforce the belief that Republicans are inherently stupid. It is not to say that liberals are incredibly smarter than conservatives, but it is a fact that Democratic states have higher graduation rates that Republican-controlled states, and that Americans seeking higher education definitely embrace liberal ideologies. But those facts alone do not tell the whole story; that is the purview of scientific research.
If one wonders why Republicans succeed in openly supporting and perpetuating white privilege, a study conducted at Brock University reveals that low IQ, conservatism, and racism are intricately linked. According to the study titled “Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes,” researchers discovered that having lower intelligence as a child is a reliable predictor of conservative and racist ideas as an adult. That low IQ also predicts the conservative hatred of immigrants, non-Christians, non-conservatives, and the researchers stated categorically that coupled with religious authoritarianism, low intellect driving Republicans’ unwarranted hatred of “the other” is expressed through conservative ideology. The GOP is well-aware of their base’s low intelligence and it is why they pander to their hatred to convince them to vote against their own best interests in every election cycle.
In another study by researchers at the University of Arkansas, “Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism,” researchers found that the reason Republicans easily convince their base that all people of color are terrorists, and that all non-European immigrants should be deported is due to what is called “low effort thought;” something the scientists concluded leads to “conservative simplistic thought.”
The researchers actually performed four different tests to “reduce subjects’ ability to use effortful, deliberate thought” and they discovered that situations causing low-effort thought resulted in more conservative beliefs. In one of the studies, researchers even found that the more intoxicated on alcohol an individual becomes the more their belief in conservative ideology increases. It is why normal human beings believe Republican voters have to be hammered to accept and support conservative policies that adversely affect them and their families personally; or they watch too much Fox News.
It is not a revelation by any means, but there are several studies proving that watching Fox News makes people stupid. In fact many studies “suggest that excessive exposure to false news coverage is every bit as toxic and avoiding open-minded attitudes, abstract reasoning skills, and non-conservative ideals.” It is why Fox is so successful feeding closed-minded conservatives who lack cognitive ability to grasp the complexities of the world gravitate toward right wing, simplistic, and concrete ideologies. Dr. Brian Nosek explained that like evangelical Christianity, “right-wing ideologies get rid of the messiness of having to think critically and impose a simple conservative solution. It is not surprising that people with less cognitive capacity are attracted to simplistic ideologies.” It is why evangelical Christianity and Republican neo-conservatism go hand-in-hand and appeal to frightened and simple-minded people who support Republicans.
In another study, researchers connected overwhelming animus toward the LGBT community with “low abstract reasoning skills” that is yet another affliction rampant among conservatives and Republican voters; particularly religious Republican voters. Homophobia is primarily a religious conservative disease and although anti-gay sentiment is not reserved to “social conservatives,” it is incontrovertible that bible-conservative Republicans express the most violent homophobic attitudes as evidenced by their never-ending fight against marriage equality. In a Kent State University study researchers titled, “Abstract Reasoning as a Predictor of Attitudes Toward Gay Men,” the report revealed that people with lower abstract reasoning skills experience and express higher levels of anti-gay prejudice.
Abstract reasoning involves flexible thinking, creativity, judgment, and logical problem solving. It is why “right-wing religious and authoritarian concepts related to concrete, black-and-white, religious-like edicts” sate the simple-minded religious Republican voter. Those voters intrinsic inability to think abstractly, coupled with their deeply entrenched right-wing ideology, only serves to increase their bigotry and hatred against gays. Typically, lower abstract reasoning skills are indicative of very young children who are developmentally unable to problem solve, think creatively, or solve problems using simple logic.
All of the aforementioned scientific research proves Republican voters are severely cognitively challenged, but there is definitive pathological proof that conservatives are innately stupid, and frightened, which is why Republicans are confident their absurd and blatantly mendacious statements will resonate with their base. According to researchers investigating why being stupid makes one likely to be a conservative, and why watching Fox News is a path to being dumber than dirt, one scientific study’s results cannot be attributed to professional interpretation or liberal bias. The study, “Political Orientations Are Correlated With Brain Structure in Young Adults,” was based on the results of MRI scans on participants and it is noteworthy that the results of an MRI cannot possibly be biased, but they can reveal pathological anomalies in the human brain.
The results of the MRI studies show that “conservative students had a larger amygdala than liberals. Conversely, the anterior cingulate cortex of liberal students had more gray matter than conservatives.” According to biological facts, “The amygdala is active during states of fear and anxiety, and the anterior cingulate cortex is the region of the brain that helps humans cope with complexity and use abstract reasoning.” What that means is that specifically speaking, “Liberals’ brains are biologically more able to handle complex thought, and conservatives base their beliefs on fear.” It is why Republicans are so successful stoking conservatives’ fear of immigrants, Muslims, minorities and anything feeding into their hate and bigotry.
The study’s authors noted that the neuroscience clearly demonstrates there are pathological brain deformities in conservatives that clarifies why they willingly accept bizarre and self-defeating conservative agendas, and why Republicans lie, fear-monger, and stoke their base’s hatred and bigotry. The researchers also said the pathology proves why conservatives are typically terrified of change and embrace anti-intellectualism, and why Democrats embrace changing the status quo to advance the well-being of all Americans. That “larger amygdala” in conservative’s brains, that larger center of fear of everything, is why Republicans are successful calling for more taxpayer dollars for the war to combat imagined threats and aggressors, and why the Republican base naturally fears and hates immigrants, Americans with healthcare, gays marrying, environmental protections, women using contraceptives and an African American President; all things Republicans claim make America an extremely scary place that only they can combat.
It is depressing to learn that there are scientific studies and mounds of empirical data proving why Republican voters are so incredibly stupid if for no other reason than there is no apparent remedy. It is as impossible to debate, or have reasonable discourse, with conservative adults suffering from intrinsic low intellect, inability to reason abstractly, and pathology (brain anomalies) as it is a newborn infant. Republican politicians are smart enough to take advantage of that simple fact with every lie and absurd statement they make whether they are speaking in Congress, on political talk shows, or during Republicans presidential debates on Fox News. They know their base is too stupid to ever realize they are being manipulated; something any normal eight-year-old comprehends unless their low intellect dooms them to be a conservative.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.