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Mon Oct 30, 2017, 08:41 PM

Scariest thing on this Halloween is the demise of fact-based reality

If you are a person who likes being frightened by the prospect of a zombie apocalypse, then Halloween is the holiday for you. Have fun being scared. But, if you truly are convinced that a zombie apocalypse could be a real thing, then we all have a problem.

A sane society depends on most people sharing a common understanding of reality, but American politics is driven by fears, many of which are unfounded. True or not, the things we fear are very likely to be the things that motivate us to vote for particular candidates.

For instance, if you fear global warming and people carrying guns in grocery stores, I can probably guess who you voted for in the 2016 presidential election, just as I could likely make an accurate prediction of your ballot behavior if you are someone who fears that federal agents will take your guns and immigrants will take your job.

Voting is an emotional act that feels as if it is a rational choice. If it scares you to think that the federal government is concocting so-called false flag events, like the Sandy Hook school shooting, or that every Muslim is capable of being turned into a terrorist, then it seems rational to vote for certain candidates over others, even though both of those viewpoints are preposterous falsehoods promoted by charlatans to elicit an emotional reaction that is susceptible to manipulation.


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