Today, as the vast majority of Republicans incorrectly believe that the election was stolen, can we agree that "the way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away" is a normative principle, not an empirical statement.
One one side of this issue, you have experts who study elections, election officials, fact-based media, and a series of evidence-based court decisions. On the other, you have the President, one of the two largest political party, partisan media, and organic conspiracy theorists.
So both sides have a big platform, both sides are presenting their ideas and the evidence they rely on.

But bad ideas have not been defeated. Instead, the conspiracy theorists have moved from the fringe to control one of the two major political parties.…
There are lots of reasons why bad ideas are not defeated. People consume media that does not challenge the bad ideas. Partisan identities shape how we process now information to fit with our priors.

But it seems clear that giving bad ideas a big platform helps to spread them.
There has been elements of the paranoid style in American politics for decades. But through Clinton, Obama and Trump conspiracists became indulged and accepted. GOP party leaders refused to denounce this. Instead, they said nothing, winked along, or championed insane stuff. ImageImageImageImage
There are conspiracy theories on the left too. But they seem to be fewer, and have not been indulged in a systematic way by party leaders. And so they are kept in check, and offer no serious threat to democracy as those on the right do.
It is absolutely and deeply important that people living in the fact-based world continue to push back against the conspiracy theories.

But it's not enough.

Republican leaders need to start to explicitly reject conspiratorial thinking, even if it costs them votes.
The people who control platforms need to stop pretending that airing conspiracies will lead to their demise.

Thats a nice idea, but it's not an empirical reality.

They need to take some responsibility for letting disinformation damage our democracy.
Agree, and the comparison the court is instructive. Courts require claims to be supported by evidence, and has rules about what constitutes evidence. Such rules help to sort out the bullshit from real concerns, and are why Trump keeps losing there.

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More from @donmoyn

20 Nov
"Emily sadz about blocking a peaceful transition" is my new least-favorite political reporting genre…
TFW you want people to understand that you are not like, one of those radical Trumpists, but also you don't want to get fired from your job that *you are already going to lose in a couple of months because you are in fact a Trump political appointee.* ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
Thread: because Trump lost by a lot in WI, the scale of the attempted disenfranchisement is huge (something like 69K votes in Dane County alone), completely at odds with how votes have been counted elsewhere in WI and in the past, and supported by the WI Republican Party.
At Milwaukee, some Trump campaign "observers" are objecting to every absentee ballot. Their standard is that literally no absentee votes in a majority Black city are legitimate.
To be clear, this is not just the Trump campaign. The Wisconsin Republican Party is supporting this effort at mass voter suppression. They gave observers a script (below). Even conservative outlets in the state are saying this is off-the-rails.
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
Rubio: Attacking public officials for their religious beliefs is beyond the pale.

of course,
that person
is a Democrat.
Here, Marsha Blackburn is attacking a reverend for the religious content of his sermon.
Beginning to think these people aren't legitimately concerned about religion but use it opportunistically as a partisan wedge.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
The WI legislature has done nothing on COVID since April except support blocking the Governor using his public health powers.
It's November, COVID is the worst it has ever been, and the WI state legislature has no specific plans, just calling pressers to describe ideas they like, which, y'know might become law somehow one of these days when we figure out how that whole deal works
This is really just an amazing statement. We are seeing the results of the legislature doing nothing except blocking the Governor, which is that WI has uncontrolled spread. Do something!
Read 7 tweets
16 Nov
Other countries have historically had higher turnout than the US. We should be learning what they do better, not get rid of one thing that helped to raise US turnout this year. 1/
Take a look at this graph - the US a) lags other country in turnout, and b) it's largely a registration problem. Most states make it unnecessarily difficult to register. Some have learned from other countries like Germany and automatically register voters when they turn 18.
What else do other countries do? Well, because they do not have electoral college, the vast majority of voters actually have a reason to believe their vote might have some impact on who leads their country. Maybe we should try that crazy idea! 3/
Read 5 tweets
16 Nov
One can make complaints of cross-group equity, and whether a targeted approach would be better. But as a factual matter, this is not how revenues and expenditures for this policy would work which the *checks notes* WI Assembly Majority Leader surely nows.
Cross-subsidization for a debt forgiveness policy would come largely from wealthier tax payers to a broad pool of people w diff incomes but where low income beneficiaries would esp. benefit. You might not like that (or debt-financed expenditures) but its a more accurate summary.
My personal policy preference would be a more targeted approach to help low income groups. But the US has done dismally with conditional loan forgiveness programs (see public service loan) and so I currently have low confidence that a means-tested approach would be effective.
Read 4 tweets

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