The good folks at the Department of Clinical Psychology at Emory University tell us that our minds are made up already, that Owen can't change our mind any more than Xoff or E'ville Alder Fred can. Facts be damned, we know what we want and we'll do what we can to get it.
The study points to a total lack of reason in political decision-making.
"None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly
engaged," Westen said. "Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the
cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they
get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional
states and activation of positive ones."
The study shows that, in the face of facts that challenge our political beliefs we stick fingers in our ears and make humming noises. This is why the unknown can so often slide under the radar. If we haven't made our minds up we can be open to accepting the unknown.
In politics it may be, "Better the devil you don't know," than the other way around. This study means that all Charlie Sykes is doing, all the puffery of McBride and the bluster of Xoff, my stick-poking and Peter's name calling are just ways of showing off for the herd.