There is a famous case study in social psychology “When Prophecy Fails” which describes a cult that believed that the world was going to end at a specific time. Researchers studied the group to see how they reacted when the world didn’t end. How does a group respond when its entire existence is centered around a core belief and that belief is proven false?
What the researchers found was that, instead of abandoning the cult due to this massive failure, the members became more dedicated to the cult. They convinced themselves that it was their prayers that caused God to intervene and rededicated themselves to the cause.
To believe that the cult — that they had dedicated their financial, emotional, and physical lives to –was simply WRONG was too much for them to handle. Instead they found a way to discount that information — to twist it — so that they wouldn’t have to face how very wrong they were.
Since then, other studies of doomsday cults have found similar patterns. When their prophesies are proven wrong, instead of abandoning the cult, they alter the prophecy in such a way that it can still be believed. They protect their belief so they don’t have to deal with the psychological blow of admitting that they were THAT wrong.
And, is if to confirm our suspicions, they are reacting to this impeachment just the way a cult would.
I think most of us didn’t expect to change any trump supporters’ minds with the impeachment hearings.
But THEN when witness after witness came forward with damning story after damning story, we started to feel hopeful. Maybe this WOULD change some of their minds! Maybe some Republican congressmen WOULD do the right thing!
But they didn’t. Instead, they seem to be doubling down in their beliefs.
Just the way a cult would.
And it is disheartening and disappointing. Despite knowing that they wouldn’t really change their minds even with evidence, most of us hoped that they would.
But here is the thing: none of those studies on cults ran for long enough. None of them looked at what happened to the cults further down the road.
But if we look for that –if we try to see where those cults are down the road — we see that they are all gone. They no longer exist.
Mountains of evidence will not tear people away from their cults. It’s too hard for us to say “I was super wrong” even when it is clear we were super wrong.
But the impact of the evidence will linger. And as more and more negative truths pile up, we will eventually see people slithering away from this cult as well.
It won’t happen in the kind of dramatic fashion we would love to see: that is too psychologically hard for people.
Instead, over time — and likely in time for the 2020 election — some people will become slightly less enthusiastic and slightly more in favor of change and slightly less likely to vote for trump.
Not all the people, of course, there is a solid ¼ to 1/3 of Americans we will never win over. That portion that was never won over to the civil rights movement or women voting or any other decent act. That portion will continue to argue against equal opportunity or true democracy. But that is OK. We outnumber them.
But we will see shifting. The evidence will pile up for people as will their exhaustion with the constant drama.
And that is why I truly believe that this impeachment will have positive effects, even though they will be difficult to measure for a while.
And as long as we work our asses off and unite behind WHOEVER wins the nomination, we WILL win in 2020. As long as we keep the faith and do the hard work, we can do this. We can save our democracy. We can save America. We can save the world. We can save the planet.
Support for Impeachment is NOT collapsing
rump claims support for impeachment is “down into the 20’s in some Polls.” But these polls do not seem to exist.
In fact, polling suggests support for impeachment is holding fairly steady. It remains particularly strong among Democrats, with a mid-November Morning Consult poll finding 82 percent of Democrats supporting impeachment and a mid-November NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll finding 86 percent of Democrats in support. A FiveThirtyEight meta-analysis Monday finds an average of 80 percent of Democrats support impeachment.
Even on the WORST day of polling we have had since the Ukraine news broke, more people favored impeachment than were against it:
76% of American voters think that the Trump admin should fully cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, while 18% don't think so, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 26, 2019
A new CNN poll shows that half the country believes that President Donald Trump should be not only impeached by the House, but also removed from office by the Senate.That result is being spun in some corners of the internet as great news for Trump, because that 50% number is unchanged from a CNN poll in mid-October, the conclusion being that the last 10 days of public impeachment hearings have not convinced more of the public that the President needs to go.Except that we are missing the forest for the trees here: A majority of the country believes the current President of the United States should be impeached and removed from office!A quick check of history shows how strange that is.The peak of support for the impeachment and removal of then-President Bill Clinton in 1998 was 29% in CNN polling. That’s the highest that number ever went, despite the fact that the House Republican majority did vote to impeach late that year!Ditto impeachment sentiment for the two presidents between Clinton and Trump. In a 2006 CNN poll, 30% of the public wanted George W. Bush impeached and removed from office; in 2014, 33% said the same of Barack Obama. (Unlike Trump and Clinton, neither Bush nor Obama ever faced any sort of formal impeachment investigation or vote.)
rump is Losing Military Support
“This feels like an inflection point,” said one retired senior officer, who warned that Mr Trump had already politicised other government agencies, such as the homeland security and state departments. “Trump has been chipping away at the apolitical, non-partisan nature of the defence department but this feels different. He is trying to complete the trifecta by politicising the Pentagon.”
Tensions that have been mounting for months between some of the nation’s most senior military officers and President Donald Trump are boiling over after his decision to intervene in the cases of three service members accused of war crimes.A long-serving military officer put it bluntly, telling CNN “there is a morale problem,” and senior Pentagon officials have privately said they are disturbed by the President’s behavior.Fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer wrote Wednesday in a Washington Post op-ed that Trump’s intervention was “shocking and unprecedented. … It was also a reminder that the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.”
The Truth Is On Our Side
— Amy Fiscus (@amyfiscus) November 27, 2019
People Want Freedom And Will Fight For It
A surge in voting, especially by young people, allowed democracy advocates to win many more seats on local councils.
The pro-democracy opposition appears to have swept to victory in Hong Kong elections, as a record turnout dealt a clear rebuke to city leader Carrie Lam and her handling of violent protests that have divided the Chinese territory. https://t.co/ILG5OjlFeI
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 25, 2019
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi will resign after nearly two months of anti-government protests, according to a statement from his office.People set off fireworks as they celebrated his resignation in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, after anti-government protests, which began on October 1, swept through the country against alleged government corruption and Iranian involvement in the country’s affairs.
Rudy and Trump are still in big trouble
New transcripts of witness testimony and news reports revealing key details on the Ukraine scandal timeline show in vivid detail the way President Donald Trump and top officials maneuvered behind the scenes to block aid to Ukraine as the President sought an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.The new revelations, coming at a time when half of Americans support impeaching and removing the President even though impeachment proceedings have not moved the needle of public opinion, underscored the problem for Trump and his supporters in Congress: Public hearings in the impeachment inquiry may be in the rearview mirror, but new details about his pressure campaign on Ukraine continue to trickle out.The developments on Tuesday illuminated the fact that there’s still much to learn about the President’s actions regarding Ukraine as the House races toward a potential vote on impeachment by Christmas.
The Times report indicates that Trump knew that a whistleblower complaint had been filed against him when he released his hold on hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.
This actually undercuts two of Trump’s remaining defenses. First, it refutes the absurd notion that, because Trump ultimately released the aid, this somehow shows the plot to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations to help his reelection was never corrupt. We now know Trump knew it had been exposed before the aid was released.
In short: They got caught.
But this new revelation also undercuts the “I want nothing — no quid pro quo” defense as well. It sheds light on another key subplot: the manner in which Trump appears to have corruptly directed Sondland to convey the extortion demand to Ukraine, while preserving plausible deniability for doing so.
Potential charges under consideration, per WSJ:
Conspiracy to defraud the US
False statements to the feds
Failing to register as a foreign agent
Donating funds from foreign nationals
Making contributions in the name of another person
Mail & wire fraud https://t.co/3WpprOkIWG
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 25, 2019
Public Pressure Still Works
A day after telling Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he didn’t know whether Russia or Ukraine hacked the Democratic National Committee server during the 2016 election, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) walked back his remarks, acknowledging he was wrong while claiming he “misheard” the question
Silent Sam, the monument toppled by protesters at the University of North Carolina last year, will be owned by a Confederate heritage group and will remain off the public university campus under terms of an agreement announced Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh-based chain posted its best quarterly sales result in six years Tuesday, with same-store sales up 6% in the company’s third quarter. That comes on top of a better than 3% increase in same store sales in the second quarter, executives noted.
Robust sales follows the controversial decision to remove the hunting departments from 125 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores across the nation. Higher margin apparel department replaced the legacy hunt category in many stores. Gun advocates threatened a nationwide boycott of the chain.
We Are Super Motivated
Phil Arballo, a Latino business executive seeking the Democratic nomination to unseat Nunes in California’s 22nd Congressional District, said Wednesday he saw a huge spike in donations, social media followers and general interest in his campaign since the Intelligence Committee’s high-profile impeachment hearings began.
In those two weeks, Arballo said he received $310,000, nearly doubling his year-to-date fundraising. He also said he saw a 127 percent increase in signups on his website and saw his Twitter followers surge to 150,000.
Lots of great news right? I hope everyone had a lovely and safe holiday. I am so proud and so lucky to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️