Written By: Anton Sawyer
And I thought he was just a meme …
It’s only recently that the man named Steven Crowder has come into my sphere of knowledge, and to be honest, I kind of wish he hadn’t. If you are unfamiliar with him, he is a Canadian-American conservative commentator who derived fame from both his uber-conservative ideology (the man was fired from FOX News for talking trash and getting into it with Sean Hannity) and his meme. If you have ever seen the meme with the man at a table holding a sign giving a topic followed by “change my mind,” this is him. This meme turned into a show where Crowder has guests (primarily college students) who oppose his views and then tries to change Crowder’s mind about the topic. Not surprisingly, it never goes well for the guest.
That’s what I wanted to look at today; from a scientific perspective, CAN you change Steven Crowder’s mind? Short answer: no.
Before we go too deep, I had to acknowledge something first. I know regular readers to the site are going to begin questioning the level of “independence” this site has with how much has been written about the conservative faction of this country, but when you see someone walking out of their home with a giant booger hanging from their face, it’s hard not to point it out. I promise there will be many more articles in the future discussing the DNC and their subterfuge of deceptive practices. For now, Mr. Crowder is that booger that needs addressing.
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In all reality, Crowder is merely another cog in a machine that has completely removed reasoning and rationale for emotional gratification. In fact, if you look at everyone who has a large enough platform to reach millions of Americans—as Crowder has—this emotional replacement is not only the norm, but is also the scientific standard for their party. We’ve all seen it. We’ve seen when a liberal goes on some talk show to debate with a conservative talk show host only to be insulted personally, or to have that host bring about emotional construct to the argument that hinges on philosophy (which works because in philosophy there’s no specific “right” or “wrong”). The liberal is on their heels trying to weave between statistical analysis and a personal barrage of attacks, leaving them looking vulnerable, weak. In their minds, the conservative won as he left his opponent completely disheveled. They don’t account for the facts, knowledge (or lack thereof), or really anything else that could be substantive in bringing about ideas that can help all of mankind.
A great example of this happened when Crowder was ambushed in a debate with Ethan Klein and Sam Seder on a recent episode of the H3 Podcast titled "Ethan Klein Debates Steven Crowder (Ft. Sam Seder) - H3 Podcast #248." Whether I side with Klein/Seder or not, it was an ambush. Crowder was expecting to score an easy “layup” against Klein (as Crowder had tweeted out), but was met with a more than adversarial opponent in Seder. Within the first three or four minutes of the debacle, it was made pretty clear why Crowder had repeatedly denied Seder’s people from setting up a debate between the two. Seder tried to keep the debate on the topics at hand, but was constantly bum-rushed verbally by Crowder. After Seder attempted to refocus the debate for the fourth time, it was at this point in which Crowder began throwing anti-Semitic diatribes around at Seder—by telling him to remove his glasses so we could see his "velveteen rabbit buttons." An extremely derogatory and racist trope referring to Seder's eyes. As we know, this is a common attack for those with no self-awareness when they are losing control of a situation, they resort to personal, and often racist, remarks. After the event, I realized that what just I witnessed was scientific fact in full display.
You see, when it comes to the GOP at large (and especially their leaders), their emotional construct is the only defense mechanism they can pull from. Steven Crowder’s mind legitimately cannot be changed … easily. It’s important to remember how the brain takes data and processes it. I’ve mentioned this before, but with repetition comes remembrance; if we are all aware of how we make choices, then we can exponentially prevent future mistakes from being made. When it comes to decision-making, there are two primary areas of the brain responsible for it—the amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex. The amygdala is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions. The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for logic and decision-making. When we get new information, it hits the amygdala first. This is from centuries of having to hunt and fight as nomads or cavemen. Your brain had to immediately recognize a problem and then get your body out of there before you get eaten by a larger predator. Over the centuries, as both humanity and technology have evolved, the pre-frontal cortex developed and is where all logic and reasoning put a pause on the emotions to accurately evaluate the situation. This baseline was measured in what has become the most recent, and most accurate pool of data to pull from when it comes to the human mind and politics. A study published on April 7, 2011, in the Current Biology Journal by neuroscientists Ryota Kanai, Geraint Rees, and co-written with Colin Firth and Tom Feilden, showed results when they performed studies on how the brain reacts to certain stimuli and how it pertains to political affiliation. They found its accuracy to be much higher, over 10% more so, than when you just asked someone what their parents believed.
The experiment went as such:
They would hook the subject up to an MRI to monitor their brain activity.
They would show them images of many different things which would trigger responses and see which part of the brain had the most activity during each picture.
When they cross-referenced those results with the political ideologies of their subject, the results were pretty clear: people whose amygdala dictated their responses were more conservative, and people whose pre-frontal cortex dictated their responses were more liberal.
This means that a majority of conservatives derive their facts and knowledge from their emotional center. This is key to knowing what you’re getting into when you watch a debate between the opposing political parties of America; the conservative will always default to either personal attacks or any other kind of attack that raises the endorphin levels of the conservative and their followers—thereby being convinced they are “victorious.”
Knowing this information, it’s easy to see why it would be incredibly difficult to change the mind of Steven Crowder. To be able to do that, you would have to arrange actual facts in such a way as to make it so Crowder (and especially his audience) can make an emotional connection with what you are saying. Once they are in that position, then they are more likely to allow your argument to permeate their gray matter. Clearly, this isn’t limited to just those who are in leadership. How many times have you seen a TV segment where a die-hard conservative is speaking with a journalist, the journalist puts out statistics and reality that goes against everything the conservative has said, and then the conservative shuts down? It’s because to them, the emotional reality and fears they have presented haven’t been addressed at all … they KNOW what’s right. And this is where we are at. I constantly see liberals talk about how if their counterparts would “only listen,” or “try to understand,” then things would be so much better. The conservative can’t do those things, literally. The science backs it up. So in all actuality, Steven Crowder has the most honest tag line of any social media or political influencer because when your primary defense mechanism is blocking out anything you don't like, then changing the mind is a near impossibility.
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