Be A Fascist Without Telling Us You’re A Fascist

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Unofficial General Election Results 2022 (links to a dynamic page so may change for the next election)

How Confirmation Bias Works

Unofficial election 2022 election results from the State of Ohio

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[0:02] A majority of Ohioans didn’t support the re-election of Governor Mike DeWine or any of the GOP officeholders, and the GOP wants to keep it that way by making it harder to vote. And did you know the difference between critical thinking and confirmation bias?

[0:20] I’m Doug Berger, and this is secular left.

[0:26] Music.

[0:35] Well, last week on November the eighth was the 2022 midterm election. General general election. And what that means is for midterms, it’s two years after, a president takes office, and it’s usually considered a judgment or a referendum on the job that the president is doing. And the reason why it happens is because every two years, all of the House members in the US House of Representatives are have to go through an election. And I believe it’s a third.

[1:19] A third of the Senate. And then of course, then here, like in Ohio, we had elections for the top offices, governor, attorney general and things like that. Well, and nationwide for the Congress, Democrats didn’t too, too didn’t do very badly. It was expected earlier the pundits and the people were saying that it looked like it was going to be a red what they call a red wave, where, they would lose the Democrats would lose massive amounts of seats in the Congress and possibly give up control of the Senate, US Senate. In actuality, what turned out was that the polls were slightly askew due to being flooded with biased polls. And what happened was the Democrats retained the Senate. There is one outstanding race, and that’s for Georgia between a trumpet named Herschel Walker, who’s endorsed by Trump and Warnock. Senator Warnock, who’s the current senator. And that will determine if the control Democrats have a control where they can get stuff passed without having to worry about the Republicans at all. If Warnock wins in Georgia, then the Democrats will have 51 seats.

[2:46] What I wanted to do is I wanted, you know, I was interested in the outcome of the elections, obviously. And and I was a little bit heartened by the fact that the Democrats didn’t do as terribly as was expected. Still disappointed that they left quite a bit, especially the Congress left quite a bit on the table trying to hold it hostage to get re-elected. And so, like codifying RO is not going to be done now. And there are some other things that won’t be done. I also. Well, it was announced today as I’m recording this that a special counsel is being appointed for Trump. But I don’t see anything happening for that.

[3:35] You know, they drag the January 6th committee, dragged its feet for two years. And again, the Democrats were using it as a as a prop to try to get re-elected anyway. That’s that’s another that would probably be another episode I’ll do later. But what I wanted to do today is talk about the outcome here in Ohio, according to the news reports and the actual election results. All the Republicans won their office. DeWine was re-elected Governor. La Rose was re-elected Secretary of State. Yost was re-elected attorney general. Those are the three main ones that I care about. And J.D. Vance won in the Senate. We also had two state issues one that would force judges to appoint bail to punish poor people who get arrested.

[4:32] And the second issue was from also from the Republicans. That would require only actual citizens to be able to vote in any election.

[4:45] Before, there was a question about whether or not they could vote in municipal elections. I personally agree they should be allowed to. Non citizens should be able to vote in municipal elections like for school boards and council people and for tax questions. I do feel that citizens should be the only ones to vote for federal offices like President and council, Congress and Senate, but that that even non citizens should be able to choose how their tax dollars are spent. Because the fact of the matter is non citizens still pay taxes. And I’m talking about non citizens. I’m not talking about illegals or undocumented workers. Undocumented workers still pay taxes. But yeah, you can’t really make a case for not for undocumented people to vote, because they would have to come forward and identify themselves and that would subject them to to deportation. And I think that’s what the Republicans used this issue as they were they were using the issue as to keep illegals from voting, which doesn’t happen. And what what you’re regularly doing is like the guys that work in the IT department at major company who are here on an H five visa will not be able to vote in a tax issues that affect them directly.

[6:12] See, that’s what this that’s what this issue does. It also now prohibit 17 year olds from voting in primaries before they turn 18, which was kind of a good perk for Ohioans, but they shut that down, too.

[6:31] And that’s what the Republicans do, is they want to maintain single party rule in the state of Ohio now. And when they were giving out the results, they were saying DeWine won with 63%, 60 over 60% of the vote to Nan Whaley, who got 30 some 39%. And.

[6:52] Ohio skews 52 to 48 Republican usually. And so my question is, why did so many Democrats vote for DeWine? And one answer is that they just didn’t pay attention or that their Democrat, for only select things like maybe their union, like, for example, the Teamsters Union endorsed Mike DeWine for governor.

[7:22] The state Teamsters Union voted to endorse him because he said that he was against right to work laws, right to work laws or goes against unions. It’s an anti union and unions are right to be against right to work laws. And DeWine said that he would oppose right to work laws. The problem is that the Republican Party has a supermajority in the state legislature. So even if Mike DeWine vetoes a right to work law, the Republicans in the state legislature can and they have in the past overruled DeWine’s vetoes. So do I really has no power. And in in the next Ohio legislature, the Republicans will have a supermajority in both houses. They don’t even need the Democrats to vote. And so DeWine is powerless. But hey, the Teamsters endorsed him. Now, that doesn’t mean that all the Teamsters voted for him, but I think there was probably quite a few that did. But when I was looking over over the voting results, something something occurred to me. And one of the things that I noticed was that the turnout for the state and this is unofficially the turnout was about 50%.

[8:44] That means that Ohio has 8 million, roughly 8 million registered voters out of a population of 11 million or 12, close to 12 million from the last census. And only 4 million voted. And so my my thing is that when you have 50% of registered voters actually casting a vote. A majority of Ohioans did not pick the winners, so they may show DeWine got 60% of the vote, but he got 60% of 4 million votes. He did not get 60% of 8 million, and he definitely did not get 60% of 11 million people based on the population. And so the population includes people who are not registered to vote or eligible to vote or may be homeless or or so forth. So in in the election, Mike DeWine got approximately 2.5 million votes. Out of 4 million.

[9:50] And if you look at the percentages based on registered voters, his margin was only 31%. So only 31% of registered voters voted for him. And only 21% of the population supported him. For for Frank LaRose, the secretary of state. 32.32. 4 million voted for him. And that works out to be 30% of registered voters, 20% of the population.

[10:26] Yost is similar with 30% of registered voters, 21% of the total population, and Vance even got less. When you look at registered voters, he got 2.1. Million votes, and that’s 27% of registered voters, 18% of the total population.

[10:47] And if you go and look at the state issues 3 million voted for. State, issue one, which is forcing the bail to punish poor people. And if based on registered voters, that’s 38%. And issue two, which was the citizen only was also got three 3 million votes, roughly 3 million votes, and that’s 38% of registered voters. And that is less than less than 30% of the total population.

[11:21] So basically the point that I’m trying to make is that had we gotten more people out to vote.

[11:31] It’s possible that Nan Whaley would be our next governor.

[11:37] And I really think I mean, Nan Whaley didn’t even win Lucas County. Which is normally a Democratic state. I think Biden won it probably going away and Nan Whaley couldn’t. You know, and then there are some other issues. I think it’s a lot of a lot of things that we’re going against. Her was the fact that she got little to no support from the state Democratic Party, from the national Democratic Party, got little or no support. I also think that some misogyny plays a part. The fact that she was a woman and I think that’s probably why the Teamsters somewhat endorsed DeWine as well, might have played a part. But the thing is that what I wanted to point out is when you only have half your people who are registered to vote actually vote.

[12:32] Then you’re going to get crap. You’re going to get crap results. You’re going to get DeWine and Rose and Yost. And so the thing is, that’s why the GOP make it harder to actually cast a vote because they know they can’t win if everybody everybody that can vote votes. And so they put obstacle after obstacle in the way to try to prevent people from voting or to make it so hard that people give up. For example, somebody was talking about this this cycle. There was less machines at some locations, which meant people had to wait in line. Well, what did they do is they fidgeted with the formula of how many machines per people you needed to have. And so they only had they had the low end of numbers. So you had to stand in line. And the reason why they make you stand in line is because they think that if you stand in line long enough, you’ll give up and go home and you won’t vote.

[13:32] That’s why I early vote. That’s why before the early voting was available, I did absentee ballots because I wanted to vote. I didn’t want to have to stand in line to do it. Some people want to stand in line. Older people stand in line. The Republicans demagogued early voting and absentee ballots. So they hopefully in some of these states where they lost, like in Pennsylvania, it was because the the Democrats, had a large number of people that voted early or sent in absentee ballots. So what they do is they change the rules to make it harder to do absentee ballots and harder to do early voting.

[14:16] And here in Ohio, it was just announced that that the legislature is going to consider a bill that would require a photo ID to vote, require it now, even though we still have to show it anyway. But it would require a photo ID to register to vote. And it would cut some of the early voting time. It would limit the number of drop boxes. And then we have Frank La Rose, who is wants to introduce a constitutional amendment to the Constitution to make it tougher for for.

[14:55] Citizen initiated proposals to get to to succeed. They want to change the formula to where you have to get 60% of the vote.

[15:07] So they think that if they do it 60, 60% of the vote, it depends. Hopefully they they base it on the number of votes and not registered votes or the people that voted in the governor last governor’s election. But still 60%. It should be a simple majority. And so that’s how they do this, is they game the system because they want to maintain power.

[15:34] And so I think it’s just a real shame for Ohio that we have to put up with this. You know, it’s still it still pisses me off that the Republicans flaunted, a couple of constitutional amendments that they supported in 2015 and 2018 to for the redistricting. They just ignored it. And then when the Supreme Court, Ohio Supreme Court, said knock, knock them on the wrist about it, they still ignored the court orders. And the reason why they ignored the court orders was because the Supreme Court didn’t hold them accountable. They didn’t put them in contempt. Of court and jailed them.

[16:19] And so if you’re if you know that they’re not going to enforce the law, you’re going to ignore it. And that’s what they want to do with the redistricting. So.

[16:31] In the coming next year when the new Ohio Supreme Court takes office, it will be 4 to 3 Republican. The person that voted for the illegal the wanting to get rid of the illegal maps, she is going to be off the court. So my guess is they’re going to have a court case. They’re going to say, hey, everything’s fine and dandy and they’re going to have this map for the until the next election.

[16:57] Well, it’s gerrymandered. They’re going to make it harder to vote. They’re going to make it harder to change it by doing the Constitution. And so it’s going to be the same turnout is you’re going to have all these offices full of Republicans and they’re just going to set it up. And it’s in it’s almost as bad as some cities where they have people that leave council or town council or whatever they have and get appointed so that they don’t have to run a fresh race. But anyway, so DeWine And the rows and rows, they did not get. They got the people that voted, They got the majority, they won. I get it. But they were not supported by a majority of Ohioans because had they been, they would have lost if if a majority of of registered voters had actually voted, I’m sure that they would have lost. So I think that’s what the Ohio Democratic Party and other people, other parties like the Greens and the Democrat Socialists need to work on is getting people out to the polls and getting them to vote.

[18:09] And that’s the only thing that is going to to take care of this gerrymandered, illegal, almost fascist state. Is is to get out the vote.

[18:23] Hello, this is Doug, host of Secular Left, reminding you that I like to be validated. If you like this podcast and want to thank me. Feel free to buy me a coffee. Go to and donate some cash to help make this a better show and validate me as a person. You’ll feel better in the morning.

[18:51] Critical thinking means exercising our minds to build strong, critical thinking skills is the best way to make good judgments and decisions. Keeping our personal biases and check.

[19:04] So if you want to think about it, critical thinking is gathering information.

[19:11] On whatever topic it is that you’re looking into, whether it be social justice issues or science issues or political issues or things like that. And so critical thinking, the way I like to do it is know somebody says something and you kind of say, well, why should I believe you? And that gives you the opportunity to find out this information and evaluate it and decide if it makes sense, if it’s rational, if you can back it up from other sources.

[19:47] That’s that’s the whole process of finding finding truth in our world. And critical thinking is an important part. One of the things that that happens from time to time, though, is when people use critical thinking to back up or to prove their bigotry. For example, somebody might say, well, their critical thinking, their critical thinking skills determine that the COVID vaccines were implanting tracking devices by Bill Gates. And so their critical thinking found this information and gave them the information that they needed to reject these vaccines. You know, you see that a lot. Another place where you see critical thinking misused or the concept misuse is from people who call themselves skeptics and don’t believe in trans rights or that trans people exist. And so, again, they’ll throw out critical thinking that they looked up this information and they found that that trans people don’t exist. And you’re like, What? That is wrong. And so the important thing is don’t confuse critical thinking with confirmation bias.

[21:06] You know, confirmation bias is when you find information that that backs up your already preconceived notion of something, and you ignore the information that could contradict that, that notion. So let’s say you don’t believe that climate change is a thing and some Facebook group you follow shares a link to an article that claims climate change is not a thing. So now you have your proof of your belief and you go to share that with everybody. And the other thing about that article is the article that you shared was written by a guy whose day job he’s a stockbroker.

[21:46] You know, there’s red flags all over that situation. You know, it’s an example. That particular example I just gave is an example confirmation bias. And that’s the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their existing beliefs or hypothesis.

[22:04] Confirmation bias happens when a person gives more weight to evidence that confirms their beliefs and undervalues evidence that could disprove it.

[22:15] With critical thinking. You ask questions. You gather relevant information. You think through solutions and conclusions. And you consider alternative systems of thought. If you have a certain belief in something that is covered by a branch of science, then information given by those in that field of science would be more accurate in describing the thing, than information from someone who doesn’t work in that field. And you’ll see a lot you’ll see this in climate change debates. You’ll see a lot of people who don’t believe in climate change and you’ll see a lot of that information written by scientists. Quotation marks, air quotes. And here somebody might be a biologist or somebody might be an orthodontist or somebody might be a proctologist.

[23:10] You know. And so, yeah, they have their opinions, their scientists, they, they, they have a degree, but they don’t have a degree and they don’t have expertise in the field of climate change. You know, that’s the difference between expertise and having an opinion, is whether or not that that’s the field of study that you’re in. So if you want to get information about climate change, you would read information by people who are trained climatologists, people who work in the the weather field, meteorologists. They also can speak about climate change. And so, again, you wouldn’t necessarily for example, you wouldn’t necessarily have someone rebuild your car engine if all they did what you watch a YouTube video and how to rebuild engines. You know, you have an actual mechanic, somebody who’s been trained and who’s a professional do that job.

[24:15] And so the important thing to remember about critical thinking is it’s knowing that you could be wrong. And you actively try to prove your beliefs wrong. And that’s something that I do all the time because I. I peruse Internet websites. I have a history going back to what they used to call the Usenet groups. And these these were email list, email chat forums. And back in the days when we didn’t have super high speed Internet. And you’d have debates with people. And so some of those some of those skills that I learn in those those forums I’ve applied, currently, and that’s basically if I read something and and I get outraged by it or it ticks me off or it might even just interest me. I will go look for additional information about that. I’ll go look for other information channels that talk about that to see if what I just read is actually true. Maybe it’s blown out of proportion. It could be actually wrong.

[25:33] Some of the some of the places you’ll see this happen. Is on local news. News stations, when they when they talk about the latest scientific finding about something, health health, things like like people who eat cheese, gain weight or things like that, That’s I know that’s a bad example because I don’t have an actual example on hand. But basically what that means is that they’ve taken a. The people that write these stories have taken a nugget of truth that this study happened and these results happen, but they’ve either misconstrued it or they hyped it or, sensationalized it in a way that makes the the conclusion false. And that’s something you have to wade in. You have to wade through using critical thinking.

[26:30] And it’s also important when you are attempting to use critical thinking, is to evaluate the information sources themselves. As I as I explain, if a guy wants to fix your car engine and he watched YouTube videos. Well, what you want to do is you want to evaluate for for the first thing is what videos was he watching? Was it also somebody else who watched videos?

[26:59] Because that kind of perpetrates itself. So you kind of want to avoid people that get their information from YouTube because that’s not that’s not information that has been vetted.

[27:10] Um, that’s the big thing when you’re talking about the scientific method, is that, when scientists come up with hypothesis and people try to disprove that hypothesis, there’s a certain procedure and things that they go through to do that, like blind studies or surveys with a large number of people, because you get to sometimes where you have.

[27:39] People surveyed, said they hate cheese and then they’ll have the methodology, usually the methodology at the end of the article and they’ll say, done with a poll of 400 people. Well, that that isn’t necessarily going to be true. Then. If you only polled 400 people, you’d have to figure out what the breakdown was. Another example of being careful with the information was this We just had a recent midterm election in this country, and one of the things that people, rely on well, I wouldn’t say rely, but one thing that plays a part in people’s decisions is the polling. They do a lot of polling during the election season, you know, especially for some of the big, bigger races like the Ohio. We had the Senate race, Governor, that we had the governors and things like that. Well, one of the things that happened this this past election season was that you have these poll aggregators like the website 538.

[28:46] And some of the news organizations like CNN and MSNBC aggregate polls, That means that they they look at all these different polls and they weight the results and then they come up with like a composite. So, you know, if they say, you know, how’s Joe Biden job performance or job approval, and then they’ll look at maybe five different polls. And an average that out or. Well, I’m not a statistician, so I don’t know how exactly they work it out, but they they aggregate it together and they come up with a figure and they say, well, you know, most people say Joe Biden does this. Well. What happened in this most recent election season is that there was a flood. The terminology that was used was a flood of biased polls. Now, anybody can do a poll. If you have the money, you can pay somebody to do a poll for you. And a lot of these campaigns and candidates, that’s one of the things they spend money on, is they they do their own polls. It’s called internal polling.

[29:56] And a lot of times they do that because they want to know the information before anybody else does. And so this will be a private company that will will develop this poll and and they’ll use what’s called push questions. And and they’ll say, you know, you know, candidate A beats his wife. How do you feel about that? You know, it’s a very biased, very slanted depending on who the candidate is and what their purpose is.

[30:25] So then they release that publicly. They release those results publicly, and these poll aggregators sop it up. And what it does is ends up doing is skewing the results, the the the average of the polls. And so it gives you a not a false narrative, but a misleading narrative of how the populous is looking at the election. And that’s what happened because the the Republican side flooded the polling with biased Republican polling that skewed the overall look at it. And so people thought there was going to be a red wave that that the Democrats are going to take massive losses. And it and there was going to be a huge majority in the House. And then the Republicans are going to take back the Senate and they are going to be able to do their agenda.

[31:28] And it turned out that the polling was not it wasn’t totally wrong because the Republicans did take the House. It overstated the performance of the Republican Party. And that’s how you do that with by by kind of skewing the polls is it gives a wrong impression of what’s going to happen. So when you’re using critical thinking, you have to look at your sources.

[31:58] Why did they why is this information out there? Who will benefit from this information? Then you try to find information that backs up that information. For example, if somebody somebody posts on Facebook and says Joe Biden was caught with a prostitute. Well, then what I would do is I would try to go back and find an article or something from a legitimate source that said that that happened, you know, because something like that that happens if a president of the United States gets arrested, that’s going to be major news.

[32:35] It’s going to be major news. It’s going to be it’s going to be on every channel, everything. So you try it. So basically, I know that’s an extreme example I use, but but basically, you just try to find other outlets that are reporting the same thing. Now, what you have to be careful of when you do that, though, is that you don’t have an echo effect. Yahoo News is similar in that they will Yahoo News when they do their news thing, their news articles.

[33:10] It will look like that its original reporting. But most likely usually it’s not because they don’t have a new staff. What they’re doing is they are copy and pasting articles from other websites. And you can tell that because if you go to the page and up in the left corner of the article will it will be an icon with the website that they got it from. And so if something is heavily skewed conservative in intent, usually you can find a conservative website in that little thing like Fox News or the Hill or or Politico. And so it’s not saying you can just dismiss it entirely depending on how you work. But again, if you’re going for something, if you’re looking for the truth and you’re using using critical thinking. You know, and and I’ll restate it is critical thinking is knowing that you could be wrong and you actively try to prove your beliefs wrong. Right. And so you’ve looked at the you’ve looked at the sources you’ve looked at who would benefit from this information. And then you try to disprove the information or find alternatives to that information.

[34:31] And then you can also use your your kind of your logic things like add homonyms and draw man poisoning the well, these logical fallacies. And you just try to try to determine and you’re not going to be 100% perfect.

[34:52] That’s one of the one of the things to remember is you’re going to miss it sometimes, even if you do your due diligence, and you look at all this information and you try to decide if it’s true, it might turn out not to be true or misstated and you totally missed it. And that’s okay. You know, nobody’s going to come and take away your your critical thinking card because you got something wrong once. You know, now, if if you’ve been proven wrong many, many times and you refuse to acknowledge that you’ve been wrong, then we have a problem. And that’s kind of what happens in some of the with some of the people who call themselves skeptics is they just hate being proven wrong. And so they’ll hold on to their their bias as long as possible in the face of overwhelming evidence against their their bias. And they’ll say, Well, I could. We need to use critical thinking or it be. One of my conservative friends posted a meme. It’s from Dazed and Confused is like, you want to use critical thinking. It’d be great if you did. And I’m like, What does that even mean? And I think it’s one of the most important values to have, especially in a in a highly, highly volatile political situation that we see ourselves in currently.

[36:21] Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information, including links to sources used in our show notes on our website. At secular left us.

[36:35] Secular left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger, and he is solely responsible for the content.

[36:45] Send us your comments, either using the contact form on the website or by sending us a note at comments. At secular left dot us.

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[37:07] Music.

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