Consider these results from opinion surveys of experts different areas of research, I won’t tell you the areas of research just yet:
Now, which would you say is an accepted fact among experts and which would you say is contentious? Which would you be comfortable accepting as the concensus view of the people who know most about the topic and, therefore, is probably correct (especially as evidence and theory can be presented to you that confirms the consensus)?
Now, which do you think most on the Right reject and which do you think most accept? Clue: it’s the opposite of the rational answer.
97% is a pretty damn strong consensus. I’m willing to bet that less than 97% of physicists agree with Einstein’s theory of relativity, and that’s accepted unquestioningly by the public. Yet, many on the Right steadfastly reject what 97% of climatologists agree is true. On the other hand, less than half of economists are willing to unconditionally state that minimum wages increase unemployment, but the Right hold this up as a self-evident truth. Why have they got it backwards?
Dealing with climate change requires us to stop behaving like we are, change our ways, and it requires leadership and spending by the government – it requires society to act together to counter the threat and that means constraints for the privileged. So, the Right needs to believe that climate change isn’t real, no matter what the experts say, to justify not doing anything about it so they can maintain the privilege of the few.
Likewise, paying a decent wage for a person to give their time and labour means smaller profits and executive salaries for the rich. So, the Right needs to believe that the minimum wage is bad for the poor to justify their avarice, even though there is no consensus among the experts.
This shows, again, that the Right’s ideology isn’t based on rationality. It’s about protecting the status quo, the privilege of the few. It also shows that the Left bases its ideology on what works. The Left doesn’t bury its head in the sand but has the courage to acknowledge and confront problems.