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Follow-Up: Why Do People Continue to Back Losers?

I have struggled for quite some time with the question of why people continue to support obviously poor performers – whether in sports or politics (http://sensiblethought.com/2011/backing-losers-why-do-otherwise-rational-people-continue-to-ascribe-to-irrational-positions). This week presented me with more evidence that IQ is at least one factor. 

I was going through the TSA checkpoint yesterday on my way out to Ohio. I passed through the first checkpoint, where they look at you, look at your ID, and scribble their initials on your boarding pass without incident. I moved on to the …next station, where the gray plastic bins are waiting, got into position behind the people already going through the process there, and began removing my shoes, belt, emptying my pockets, etc. A minute or so into this process, a woman approaches from behind me and says: “Excuse me, are you in line here?” At this point I am thinking “Of course I am. I’m standing here like everyone else, putting my stuff in plastic bins. Who would ask such a stupid question?” But I was gracious, and simply said “yes Ma’am” as I turned to address her. I noticed at that point that she was a pregnant woman, and she was wearing a T-shirt with an arrow pointing to her “baby bump”. Above the arrow were the words: “Future Cub Fan”. At that point, no other explanation was necessary.
 
However, it’s gratifying to see that I’m not alone in my state of abject wonder about how people can be so blindly loyal to complete losers. The next day, scanning through the USA Today provided by the Hilton in Columbus Ohio, I came across an editorial written by Don Campbell (former Washington journalist), entitled: Stark Election Choice in Ohio. (Wednesday, June 20, 2012 edition – page 7A.) It looks as though Mister Campbell has stumbled across the same dilemma I described in my ealier blog on this topic. He is also wondering – well, basically how people can be so dumb. He says, in part: “On average, almost 60% of Americans think the country is on the ‘wrong track’. According to Gallup, 64% fear that big government is the ‘biggest threat’ to the nation. Almost three-fourths of Americans say they favor a free market over a government-managed economy. A lopsided majority want Obama’s health care reform plan struck down. Yet, Obama continues to hold his own against Romney. I understand the math on party loyalty. What doesn’t compute for me is how this could be a close election. But I have a scarey theory: While some independents, who are growing in numbers and will decide this thing, understand instinctively what’s at stake, not nearly enough do – or care. I never imagined that a president, in only one term, could set up such a stark choice for voters. We can recommit ourselves to free enterprise as the creator of prosperity for all who are willing to work for it, or embrace an entitlement society ….”
 
 His point is this: “How can so much of America see what has happened to the United States since President Obama took office, and support four more years of the same?” Soaring national debt, the malaise of continued 8%+ unemployment, 15%+ underemployment, and the complete disregard of law exemplified by deliberate refusal to enforce DOMA and submit critical evidence in scandals like Fast & Furious make it impossible to blind oneself to the culture of failure and corruption that is the Obama Administration. 
 
And yet we see it all around us. As commedian Ron White has so often lamented, “you just can’t fix stupid.”
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8 
 
Wht do you think? 

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