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Americans are manipulated by fake news because religion has infected our politics: Peabody-winning journalist

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Writer and reporter Kurt Andersen, in conjunction with Big Think, walked through the ways in which the United States has entered a kind of post-truth era.

In a video, the linguistic expert on President Donald Trump’s speaking style explained that people seem to be losing IQ points year after year and it’s all due to a slow decline in truth. In 2012, he explained that the Republican candidates that agreed in the scientific theory of evolution dropped to one-third of the field. By 2016, just one candidate, Jeb Bush, believed in science. Even Bush said that the cornerstone of biology shouldn’t be taught in schools, however, and if it was it should be taught along with the religious belief of Creationism.

Andersen explained that he doesn’t think the Republican Party is growing stupider each year, rather they’re fearful to challenge the chosen reality of their voters.

“I don’t think all of them disbelieve in evolution – some of them – but they were all obliged to say yes to falsehood and magical thinking of this religious kind, and that’s where it becomes problematic,” he said.

“America has always been a Christian nation,” Andersen quoted. “That had always meant a different thing one hundred years ago or even 50 years ago than it means today… Christian Protestant religion became extreme. It became more magical and supernatural in its beliefs in America than it has for hundreds of years or for any other place in the world.”

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As the Protestant Christians became more extreme, the Republican Party was similarly becoming more extreme.

“So, one thing that has happened, and one thing that has led the Republican Party to fantasy and wishful untruth more and more into its approach to policy…are now in the Republican mainstream,” Andersen argued.

Things like a belief in a secret Muslim plot to overthrow the United States for Sharia Law, climate change being a Chinese hoax and even President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and Donald Trump came to save America with the birther campaign, are all issues that are easy to believe if “fantasy and wishful untruths” are the norm. It makes it easier to accept conspiracy theories or fake news.

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Anderson explained that he doesn’t care if people believe what they want to believe in private. However, when religious belief “bleeds over into how we manage and construct our economy and our society,” there’s a problem. It will cause lasting trouble for the country.

Watch below:


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CNN

Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’

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CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.

The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.

"How is it racist?" she asked.

"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"

She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.

"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.

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2020 Election

Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing

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Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.

"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.

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Breaking Banner

American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS

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US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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