This is an excellent read. Most of us liberals have been perplexed as to why any working class stiff (especially those in the lower income brackets) would vote against his/her own best interest and vote for corporate and wealthy interests instead. I am so glad to read that there are those in the field of psychology who are also perplexed enough to research this phenomenon and try making sense as to the WHY people willingly hurt themselves and their families in this political conundrum? Perhaps armed with some answers to this riddle, those who vote against their interests will be able to open their eyes and realize, they are doing themselves in, little by little, republican by republican. But then again, Liberals also have a lot to learn, DO WE NOT? thinkingblue


What makes people vote Republican? Why in particular do working class and rural Americans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany's best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer "moral clarity"—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.

Diagnosis is a pleasure. It is a thrill to solve a mystery from scattered clues, and it is empowering to know what makes others tick. In the psychological community, where almost all of us are politically liberal, our diagnosis of conservatism gives us the additional pleasure of shared righteous anger. We can explain how Republicans exploit frames, phrases, and fears to trick Americans into supporting policies (such as the "war on terror" and repeal of the "death tax") that damage the national interest for partisan advantage.

But with pleasure comes seduction, and with righteous pleasure comes seduction wearing a halo. Our diagnosis explains away Republican successes while convincing us and our fellow liberals that we hold the moral high ground. Our diagnosis tells us that we have nothing to learn from other ideologies, and it blinds us to what I think is one of the main reasons that so many Americans voted Republican over the last 30 years: they honestly prefer the Republican vision of a moral order to the one offered by Democrats. To see what Democrats have been missing, it helps to take off the halo, step back for a moment, and think about what morality really is.


10 things we do not understand about humans.

Occupy Wall Street - We Shall Overcome


Calperson's picture
Calperson 3 years 48 weeks ago

Many people actually have the ability to look beyond their own selfish ego and make decisions that would be beneficial to society as a whole.

Remember we are all in this together, and getting people to look at issues beyond themselves is in fact noble, and something to be encouraged.

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons... 3 years 48 weeks ago

If you are thinking about the good of society why would you ever consider voting for a republican that only supports the 1%?

The republicans have voted to destroy the environment, destroy food safety, not help the poor by letting them freeze and starve by cuts to WIC and home heating assistant.

Limiting the ability of millions to vote by new ID laws that may in many cases violate the 14th amendment

The list of actions by the republicans that negatively impact society both American and Global would fill multiple Libraries so if you want to help society both American and Global. You policy should be ABAR in 2012, 2016, etc – ABAR – Anybody but a Republican.

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