Bill O’Reilly’s Amazing Psychological Projection

Bill O’Reilly’s Amazing Psychological Projection May 29, 2015

A new Gallup survey shows Americans almost exactly divided between those who identify as liberal and conservative, which has sent Bill O’Reilly into a frenzy of psychological projection and finger pointing. It’s all the fault of Hollywood influencing “simpletons,” of course.

A Gallup survey showing a more even ideological split in the US was a sign of the country’s intellectual decline, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly argued on Wednesday.

“I believe only about 50 percent of the American people take the time to understand important issues,” he said. “Half the country does not; they are simpletons, unwilling and unable to discipline themselves into formulating a philosophy of life.”

As the Washington Post reported, the survey of 1,024 adults showed a tie at 31 percent between respondents identifying themselves as liberals and conservatives — the first of its kind since Gallup began tracking political ideologies in 1999.

O’Reilly blamed the shift on the entertainment industry promoting a “libertine lifestyle” and what he described as a vast majority of progressive sites online

“The stars are lined up in favor of liberal thought, and that is a powerful influence” he said.

On Wednesday night, my friend Luke Galen, a psychology professor, gave a talk to CFI Michigan about the psychological roots of political ideology. One of the things that have been found in the many studies of psychology and political identification is that a preference for the simplest explanations directly correlates with being conservative. Liberals have a much higher acceptance of ambiguity and nuance in understanding the world. For crying out loud, who offers more simpleminded understandings of virtually everything more than Bill O’Reilly? It’s pretty much all he does.

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