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EDGE: "What Makes People Vote Republican?"

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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:43 PM
Original message
EDGE: "What Makes People Vote Republican?"
An interesting read by psychologist, Jonathan Haidt. He asks "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?"

Excerpt:
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.


The first rule of moral psychology: feelings come first and tilt the mental playing field on which reasons and arguments compete. If people want to reach a conclusion, they can usually find a way to do so. The Democrats have historically failed to grasp this rule, choosing uninspiring and aloof candidates who thought that policy arguments were forms of persuasion. The second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way.


When Republicans say that Democrats "just don't get it," this is the "it" to which they refer. Conservative positions on gays, guns, god, and immigration must be understood as means to achieve one kind of morally ordered society. When Democrats try to explain away these positions using pop psychology they err, they alienate, and they earn the label "elitist." But how can Democrats learn to see let alone respect a moral order they regard as narrow-minded, racist, and dumb?
...
The Democrats could close much of the gap if they simply learned to see society not just as a collection of individualseach with a panoply of rights--but as an entity in itself, an entity that needs some tending and caring. Our national motto is e pluribus unum ("from many, one"). Whenever Democrats support policies that weaken the integrity and identity of the collective (such as multiculturalism, bilingualism, and immigration), they show that they care more about pluribus than unum. They widen the sacredness gap.


The full article can be read here: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.h...
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fear, ignorance, sloth, gluttony
The usual seven evils . . .
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. This reply is an example of what I point out in my post #2 below. NT
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Conceded to a point. Not ALL who vote republican are hostage to
their lower instincts.

However, it's hard to reconcile their choice of elected officials whose actions will eventually destroy the Constitution that has defined this country, our version of democracy, and the political process and the assumption they have the best interests of this country when they make that choice.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. You didn't read the article, did you? NT
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent article. But don't expect many to read it.
I posted it yesterday and got nothing but snarkey, smart-ass replies (with one exception).

These are the kind of solid observations Democrats need to really take seriously if they are ever to win the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans.

Stupid, simplistic replies like "People who vote Republican are stupid." don't get us any closer to figuring out how convince those same people to vote Democratic. Republican voters are NOT stupid, and they have NOT been duped by the Republicans, and they are NOT evil, and until we grow up and treat the voters with the respect they deserve, we will continue to be on the losing side of half or more of the elections.

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kansasblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I've worked on campaigns before and sometimes....
Edited on Thu Sep-11-08 04:02 PM by kansasblue
you have to ask the real loyal supporters to leave the room.

They sometimes have trouble seeing any weakness in the candidate's and party's positions.

I was on a campaign and the opponent launched a deadly ad. It was very affective. But most of the campaign staff 'knew people would see that it wasn't fair, it wouldn't work, we will win! etc'. More level heads spoke with the candidate privately.

We aren't perfect. Candidates (like Clinton) and managers (like Dean) can come along and embrace new ideas, systems and style. But they are open to info like that which you have posted.

That's good stuff. But not everyone wants to read it.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. If it's heritable then why do other countries not have this problem?
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. What country does NOT have a conservative right wing?
:shrug:
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. True, but they don't seem to be able to take over like they do here
I believe it's a direct result of our education system that reactionary ideas are able to take hold in our population so easily.
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whatchamacallit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Maybe because parliamentary systems don't favor winner take all, like ours
:shrug:
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budkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Because they hate us for our freedom.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. My take from a while ago >>>>
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. FEAR
It has been what has driven reactionaries for centuries.
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Zenmaster Donating Member (343 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
14. This isn't a mindset that Democrats don't "get". Its a mindset that is anti-Democrat.
I fail to see how this helps. I don't think that anybody doesn't understand the points that are made. Democrats aren't electing "uninspired candidates". Seriously, if you can say that about Obama, for example, you are full of shit.

I think the article misses its own point, really. It asks "what makes people vote Republican against their financial interests"?

And when it talks about morality and guns, gods and immigration it answers the question right there. They aren't voting based on economic issues, and their social issues are in line with the Republicans.

This article is, ironically, guilty of doing the same thing that the writer thinks that Democrats do...which is overthinking things. The answer is quite simple. They are socially conservative minded people. And the Democratic Party is socially liberal.

And I don't think anybody doesn't understand that. I fail to see how it helps us to understand it more, as well. We certainly don't want the Democrats to become MORE socially conservative.


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cyr330 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-11-08 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
15. Idiocy and greed.
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