At a geriatric wine-soaked tennis match last night, I got a little insight into how people with different political affiliations are able to witness the same event and come away with opposite conclusions.
The Trump voter: Listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony regarding her fear of flying, her history of air travel, her stated need for a “second front door”, and her current status as a landlord to a tenant who uses that second front door to enter a rental bedroom. Concluded that Dr. Ford was a liar. Did not evaluate the likely truth of what Judge Kavanaugh was saying. Decided that the original FBI background check for a nominee plus the supplemental check would have revealed any serious character flaw. (i.e., the person who is skeptical of big government in general thought that the FBI would have done a reasonable job in this matter)
The Hillary voter: Listened carefully to Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony regarding high school and college years. Concluded that Judge Kavanaugh was lying regarding his history of partying. Decided that it was highly probable that Kavanaugh was a regular participant in “Devil’s Triangle” group sex during high school. Opined that it was highly probable that Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony regarding her sexual assault experience was correct, including that she abandoned her friend to face the multiple rapist boys alone and somehow got a ride home. Simply did not process anything having to do with Dr. Ford’s fear of flying and history of airline travel. Opined that the FBI investigation was a joke and a sham. (i.e., the person who wants big government to get bigger and solve more of society’s problems thought that the FBI did a sloppy job in this matter) Opposed Justice Kavanaugh on the grounds that he expressed anger in a public forum.
(As a libertarian voter who had not been a Kavanaugh supporter from the first, and who had not watched or listened to the testimony (only skimmed the transcripts), I stayed neutral.)
The hostess: Described having been attacked at knifepoint in a parking garage in the late 1970s (her screaming eventually caused the guy to run away), her resulting actions, and the resulting level of trauma. Said that she had concluded that Dr. Ford was a liar based on her own experience from what she characterized as a much more frightening and serious attack.
[The previous night we had dinner with friends and their daughter who is in her 20s. She grew up in a Boston suburb that is 90 percent Democrat and attended an Ivy League university. I was surprised to find that she was unpersuaded by Dr. Ford (also by Kavanaugh).]
So… I wonder if one way that intelligent people come to opposite conclusions is through selective listening/attention.