While studying psychology in college, I read about an experiment on the pressure to conform.
Several people sat around a long, rectangular table. The "instructor" and all but one person seated at the table were confederates in the experiment. The instructor held up a sheet of paper with a line drawn exactly six inches long. He then handed the sheet to a seated confederate and said, "Guess the length of this line."
The man, as previously agreed, said, "About two inches." The paper then went clockwise around the table until it reached the only person not in on the experiment. Until then, each person "guessed" anywhere from two to three-and-a-half inches, even though the line was obviously much, much longer.
When the paper was slid to the final person -- the only one not in on the ruse -- he, too, said, "About three inches."
Perhaps this explains a recent poll put out by the "non-partisan" Rasmussen Reports. A mind-blowing 35 percent of Democrats believe the president possessed prior knowledge of the 9/11 terror attacks that killed over 3,000 Americans. Another 26 percent of Democrats said that they are "not sure." Thus 61 percent of Democrats believe or consider themselves uncertain about the assertion that the president knew in advance about the terror attacks of 9/11, yet did nothing to stop them.
Now I've long since accepted that many Democrats flat-out hate the president. Democrats, for example, far more so than Republicans, believe in the idea that government must "level the playing field." So Democrats oppose tax cuts that "help the rich." I strongly disagree, but I get it.
Because Republicans -- more so than Democrats -- believe in limited government, they stand accused of selfishness. This argument, too, I at least understand. Never mind that in the recent book, "Who Really Cares?," Syracuse University Professor Arthur C. Brooks found Republicans gave more to charity -- in both time and money -- than Democrats. It turns out that if one supports smaller government, he or she is more likely to feel the need to step in and help the needy by donating time and money. Also, the more religious the person, found Brooks, the more likely he or she gives to charity. Religious Democrats gave as much as religious Republicans, but Democrats as a whole were less religious than Republicans. Some secular Democrats feel uncomfortable with a religious president, whom they feel "gets his guidance from God." So I can understand the discomfort of the Democrats with the president's religiosity.
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