I've stated many times, but think now is a good time to repeat my
belief that in many ways attitudes towards politics are mirrored in our
attitudes towards sports. In particular, it seems to me that there is a
great similarity in the psychology of the "homer" fan and the
psychology of the partyline purist.
You saw these polls, gaining exposure in the last months of the
campaign, that said things like (made up numbers) 40% of likely Bush
voters think we found WMD in Iraq, 55% of likely Bush voters think we
found hard evidence that Saddam Hussein funded the attack on the WTC
I see that and my mind wanders to football. I'd bet 75% of Notre Dame
fans think the replay clearly showed there was no clip against Colorado
in 1990, and 55% of Michigan fans think Anthony Thomas was down before
he lost the ball against Illinois in 1999 (more made up numbers, but
you get my point). I'm not talking about rationalization. I'm not
talking about trying to dismiss the importance of this bad call and
harping instead on that bad call. I'm talking about watching a pass
bounce off the turf and saying "He caught it!"
People suffer blindness in the presence of a rooting interest. I've
been on the phone with a friend who was watching a basketball game, and
heard him go apeshit, calling for an offensive foul for a push off that
the replay clearly showed never happened. "See, he uses his left arm to
ward off the defender," he kept repeating, as the replay rolled and
showed the player's left arm*** idle at his side as he got
hammered by the defender. And similarly, I've seen people defend a
political gaffe by saying "he never said that" and stick to that
explanation even after the video has rolled or the transcript has been
I'm not going to try to fake up some neurological explanation, but I
think it's clear that sometimes people hold their desires so strongly
that evidence to the contrary gets rejected as obviously misleading.
Visual or factual evidence just isn't strong enough to overcome things
we want so badly to be true.
It's just sad that people have formed such a strong bond with a
political party, or in some cases against the political parties (ya,
that's you all of you "Don't blame me; I hate both the parties"
people). I'm not saying I haven't. I'm just saying it's sad.
And that's a large part of the reason that, except for the last 24
hours or so, I've given up on discussing politics here. For every
person here whom it might be interesting to discuss politics with,
there are 2 nutcases who have let their minds wander from reality and
instaed be informed solely by partyline wishful thinking.