Associative Politics Case Studies #1 — Climate Change

Climate Change, a supposedly scientific issue, has evolved into a political one in recent years. Like the other issues in today’s political world, Climate Change is a very partisan divisive issue. Democrats believe in Climate Change and that the government needs to address it; Republicans deny Climate Change and believe that the government shouldn’t put in much effort to combat it. Common folks from left and right are engaged in this issue as well, mainly on social media since it is a convenient platform of conveying ideas. After observing the current political atmosphere on Climate Change, I have one big question, why is Climate Change a partisan issue? How does simply being a Republican make you deny Climate Change? How does simply being a Democrat make you believe in Climate Change?

The answer is: “associative politics”, the idea that people’s beliefs on a certain issue largely depend on their associated political party’s beliefs on that issue. People might not have knowledge or strong opinions on a certain issue, but if their associated party or group has an opinion on that issue, it is highly likely for them to believe in whatever their associated party believes, because they want to fit in with others or because they are being influenced without realizing. People are making their judgements based on association instead of logic and reasoning. This case study is going to illustrate “associative politics’’ and its effects on the issue of Climate Change.

I see a lot of Democrats firmly affirming Climate Change and a lot of Republicans firmly denying Climate Change, but let’s be real here, how many of those people actually understand the scientific facts and reasonings behind Climate Change? Are these people making their claims based on scientific facts and reasonings, or are they just making their claims based on their associated party’s beliefs? How many of us common folks really know the science behind Climate Change and the environment? I am going to be straightforward honest with you guys, I have absolutely no idea on the science behind Climate Change. This is why I am currently “open” on the issue of Climate Change. I plan on educating myself on the science behind the issue in the near future and listen to logical arguments from both sides. But before that, I am not going to have an opinion on Climate Change, I am not going to jump on the train with my politically associated people just so I can fit in. The people on the train are just blindly following their associated party, following the mainstream, without thinking for themselves using logic and reasons. They believe/deny Climate Change because their “people”, Democrats or Republicans, believe/deny it. They are not making judgements using reasons or logic. They are merely repeating their party and their mainstreams’ beliefs, instead of coming up with their own opinions using their own logic.

Now let’s talk about the politicians. Are politicians really experts in science? No! Politicians are experts in history, politics, communication, and most importantly, influencing the people. Politicians know what to say and what to do in order to “convince” the people to agree with their political agendas and support them, so that they can grab power in a democracy and implement their agendas. Neither politicians or the people really understand the scientific reasonings behind Climate Change, and I have explained that people’s opinions on Climate Change are all based on their associated party’s beliefs on Climate Change, so what makes the Democratic Party believe in Climate Change and what makes the Republican Party deny Climate Change?

Both parties say they are the one “following the science.” Ha. False. You guys only follow the science when it fits your political agenda, generally speaking. To understand the reasons behind each major party’s stance on Climate Change, we must revisit their central political ideology. The Republican Party (the modern one) has always favored a small federal government, tax cuts, less spending, and general fiscal conservative policies. This is the main reason why the Republican Party is pushing the agenda that Climate Change is not serious and we should dismiss it. The Republican Party does not want to spend a vast amount of federal money to combat Climate Change, as it is a very costly issue to combat. For example, the Green New Deal proposal proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is estimated to be at least $10 trillion. Now for the Democratic Party (the modern one), its ideology has always been centered on modern liberalism — big federal government with big spendings to address problems, in simple terms — ever since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. So the Democratic Party is very willing to spend big money on issues such as Climate Change, and is the reason why it is pushing the agenda that Climate Change is a serious crisis that must be addressed.

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