The same types of responses are already being documented on divisive topics facing the current administration. Take the “Ground Zero mosque.” Using information from the political myth-busting site , a team at Ohio State presented subjects (PDF) with a detailed rebuttal to the claim that “Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam backing the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque, is a terrorist-sympathizer.” Yet among those who were aware of the rumor and believed it, fewer than a third changed their minds.
What’s more, you’ve started employing some of the nation’s top political talent: Joel Benson3, Hilary Clinton’s chief strategist; David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager; and Ken Mehlman, George W Bush’s campaign manager. The headline on Quartz4 reporting the Mehlman hire, said all that needed to be said: “Mark Zuckerberg just hired the guys who helped win three of the last four presidential elections.” I don’t expect you’ve finished either and will it be long before you have key people from all four of the most recent presidential victories on your wage bill?
Orthodoxy runs deep. Last year I was traveling with a colleague from Yale. He had recently spent a week on a reservation helping Native American students navigate the college process, and he had been shocked by the degree to which the cliches and tropes of college essays had penetrated into their world. As he told me, the essays his students - who had lived vastly different lives than most mainstream applicants - were writing were indistinguishable from those written by applicants in southeastern Connecticut. They were composed of billowing clouds of "my global perspective" and "future potential as a leader" and "desire to leverage my education" to bllllllaurhfhasklafsafdghfalkasf.