I recently read a story in The New Yorker – but that sounds more intellectual than what really happened, let me start over. I recently clicked a link on Facebook, which sought to explain why the term “Fake News” has become so popular.
The article claimed that facts no longer matter to the average voter. As evidence (yes, the article explaining why facts don’t matter included evidence), it detailed a study whereby the subjects had been given false information, then were asked to make a choice between two options. Subsequently, the subjects were given the real information and again asked to make the same choice. Time and again, the subjects’ decisions were based upon the first information they were given, even after they had been told the information was false. To sum up their findings, the researchers simply said, “once formed, impressions are remarkably perseverant.”
To me, the resiliency of first impressions detailed in this experiment explains a considerable amount of the opposition facing the Jones Act. Much of America woke up one morning to horrible pictures of the damage done by Hurricane Maria to Puerto Rico. Thereafter, they were told by CNN, “Huff Po,” and social media that
the Jones Act is exacerbating these problems. As these stories were the first time many have heard about the Jones Act, these well-meaning individuals immediately developed an impression that this Act is harming Americans in Puerto Rico.