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Neuroscience explains how ‘dead-enders’ may finally turn on Trump — as conservatives eventually turned on Nixon

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Journalist and historian Rick Shenkman thinks President Donald Trump’s supporters may eventually turn on him, just as he finally stopped backing Richard Nixon.

Shenkman, the founder of History News Network, stuck with Nixon through Watergate and right up until two months before his August 1974 resignation before he had enough, and he’s been haunted ever since by his support for a corrupt president, he wrote for The Daily Beast.

“I didn’t support Nixon out of ignorance,” he explained. “I was a history major at Vassar during Watergate and eagerly followed the news. I knew exactly what he’d been accused of.”

Shenkman remained a “dead-ender” because he’d already made up his mind, and nothing his “liberal” classmates told him about Nixon’s perfidy could change his mind — and, in fact, only deepened his support.

“I didn’t want to admit I was wrong (who does?),” he said, “so I dreamed up reasons to show I wasn’t—a classic example of cognitive dissonance in action.”

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Shenkman described a psychological study from the 1950s that showed how subjects reimagined their own experiences to explain away their own unease at getting duped, and he recognized his own “mental gymnastics” during the Watergate era.

Other neuroscience research shows how people ignore evidence that conflicts with their existing viewpoints, and scientists are beginning to unravel the ways emotion influences political decisions.

“If the researchers are right that populists are mostly angry, not anxious, their remarkable stubbornness immediately becomes explicable,” Shenkman said. “One of the findings of social scientists who study anger is that it makes people close-minded. After reading an article that expresses a view contrary to their own, people decline to follow links to find out more information. The angrier you become, the less likely are to welcome alternative points of view.”

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“That’s a powerful motive for ignoring Trump’s thousands of naked lies,” he added.

Shenkman remembers feeling angry for months over Watergate — and not at Nixon, but rather at his liberal critics, and the president fed that anger.

But eventually that anger gave way to anxiety, he said, after Nixon’s attacks grew tiresome, and defending him became harder than abandoning him.

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“If I am right about the circuitous path I took from Nixon supporter to Nixon-basher,” Shenkman said, “there’s hope that Trump supporters will have their own Road to Damascus epiphany. Like me, they may finally tire of anger, though who knows. Right-wing talk radio and Fox News have been peddling anger for years and the audience still loves it.”


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Trump says he could win Afghanistan war ‘in a week’ by wiping country ‘off the face of the Earth’

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President Donald Trump said that he could win the war in Afghanistan in a week if the country was "wiped off the face of the Earth."

Trump made the remarks on Monday during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minsister Imran Khan, according to a White House pool report.

“I could win that war in a week," Trump reportedly said. "I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth. I don’t want to go that route.”

Just in, Trump’s comments on Afgahanistan, via pooler @DavidNakamura: “I could win that war in a week. I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the earth. I don’t want to go that route.”

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Trump calls four Dem lawmakers ‘very racist troublemakers’ in latest angry Twitter tirade

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President Donald Trump on Monday once again launched an attack on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in an angry Twitter tirade.

"The 'Squad' is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart," the president wrote. "They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!"

The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!

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Vogue editor Anna Wintour refuses to talk about Melania Trump so she can lavish praise on Michelle Obama

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Vogue editor and fashion doyenne Anna Wintour had little good to say about current First Lady Melania Trump in an interview with the Economist, choosing instead to lavish praise on Michelle Obama as the "best ambassador this country could possibly have."

In the interview, which can be heard below, Anna McElvoy wanted to talk about Melania but Wintour seemed to have no interest in the former fashion model from Slovenia who is currently the third wife of Donald Trump.

“[Melania] I think, very consciously, wanted to see herself as an ambassador for British fashion, in this case, or a transatlantic ambassador,” McElvoy asked, pointing to the first lady's recent trip to the U.K. “I mean, do you value that?”

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