. This topic won't be very popular here, but what the hell. I remain absolutely fascinated by the partisan mind - how a Partisan Ideologue (PI) arrives at a point where they appear to created a intellectual vacuum from which they simply cannot escape. PI's are so attached to their beliefs that they appear to be truly sincere when they automatically utilize spin, denial and diversion when confronted with simple facts. I've often wondered if this is just a big game, but after looking into the eyes of PI's - kind of like looking at the face of a Middle East religious zealot - I'm coming to the conclusion that they really do believe most of what they say. There are many books out there about the power of the subconscious mind, and how we can essentially convince ourselves of many things simply by repeating them and buying into them. That has to play a part in this behavior, and it's obviously exacerbated by the intellectual commitment to people and networks like Fox, MSNBC, Limbaugh, Maddow, Hannity, Schultz, et al. These "pundits" are people who have a vested interest in feeding into this condition, and their "followers" clearly don't see it. Here's an interesting piece I found while Googling "the psychology of partisanship" - many links, so I'm not the only one wondering about this - it links partisanship to self-esteem, which is something I've thought makes sense: Partisan Psychology: Why Do People Choose Political Loyalties Over Facts? : It's All Politics : NPR From the piece: Along with Jason Reifler at Georgia State University, Nyhan said, he's exploring the possibility that partisans reject facts because they produce cognitive dissonance — the psychological experience of having to hold inconsistent ideas in one's head. When Democrats hear the argument that the president can do something about high gas prices, that produces dissonance because it clashes with the loyalties these voters feel toward Obama. The same thing happens when Republicans hear that Obama cannot be held responsible for high gas prices — the information challenges their dislike of the president. Nyhan and Reifler hypothesized that partisans reject such information not because they're against the facts, but because it's painful. That notion suggested a possible solution: If partisans were made to feel better about themselves — if they received a little image and ego boost — could this help them more easily absorb the "blow" of information that threatens their pre-existing views? Nyhan said that ongoing — and as yet, unpublished — research was showing the technique could be effective. The researchers had voters think of times in their lives when they had done something very positive and found that, fortified by this positive memory, voters were more willing to take in information that challenged their pre-existing views. "One person talked about taking care of his elderly grandmother — something you wouldn't expect to have any influence on people's factual beliefs about politics," Nyhan said. "But that brings to mind these positive feelings about themselves, which we think will protect them or inoculate them from the threat that unwelcome ideas or unwelcome information might pose to their self-concept." While I expect personal insults in response to this thread (from PI's, of course), please note again that I'm not the only one fascinated by this topic. Holy crap, folks are doing research and studies on it. Anyway, thoughts? .