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WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN?

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I've often noticed on this board and elsewhere that many folks , especially those of liberal bent- dismiss those who disagree with them as dumb or stupid or lacking of critical thinking.

In the academe, liberal intellectuals can hardly contain their disdain for the American public who more often than not, elect to the WH, leaders whom these denizens of the Ivory Tower deem

"anti-intellectual". Here is an example: On Stupidity

The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric From George Washington to George W. Bush (2008), by Elvin T. Lim, examines speeches and public papers — noting shortened sentences, simplified diction, the proliferation of platitudes — to show a pattern of increased pandering to the lowest common intellectual denominator, combined with a mockery of complexity and analysis.

Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter (2008), by Richard Shenkman, argues that the dumbing down of our political culture is linked to the decline of organized labor and local party politics, which kept members informed on matters of substance. Building on arguments put forward in books such as What's the Matter With Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004), by Thomas Frank, Shenkman shows how the political right has been able to don the populist mantle even as it pursues policies that thwart the economic and social interests of the average voter.

Meanwhile, the political left is unable to argue that those average Americans are in some way responsible for their own exploitation because they are too shallow and misinformed — too stupid — to recognize their own interests. One of Shenkman's solutions is to require voters to pass a civics exam.

Now here is an article that perhaps explains the telos behind American voting behavior.

Looks like a trip to India might help a lot of folks on this board gain some insights to American politics :yes:

Perhaps Troll and Stina could organize some trips to India :luv:

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN? [9.9.08]

By Jonathan Haidt

JONATHAN HAIDT is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he does research on morality and emotion and how they vary across cultures. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN?

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.

If Democrats want to understand what makes people vote Republican, they must first understand the full spectrum of American moral concerns. They should then consider whether they can use more of that spectrum themselves. The Democrats would lose their souls if they ever abandoned their commitment to social justice, but social justice is about getting fair relationships among the parts of the nation. This often divisive struggle among the parts must be balanced by a clear and oft-repeated commitment to guarding the precious coherence of the whole. America lacks the long history, small size, ethnic homogeneity, and soccer mania that holds many other nations together, so our flag, our founding fathers, our military, and our common language take on a moral importance that many liberals find hard to fathom.

Unity is not the great need of the hour, it is the eternal struggle of our immigrant nation. The three Durkheimian foundations of ingroup, authority, and purity are powerful tools in that struggle. Until Democrats understand this point, they will be vulnerable to the seductive but false belief that Americans vote for Republicans primarily because they have been duped into doing so.

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Suffice to say - this is yet more baiting and pandering to stereotypes.

Another perspective (interesting of course that "elitism" is an label applied consistently and only to liberal academics).

The Age of American Unreason

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Best is the New Worst

PITY the poor word “elite,” which simply means “the best” as an adjective and “the best of a group” as a noun. What was once an accolade has turned poisonous in American public life over the past 40 years, as both the left and the right have twisted it into a code word meaning “not one of us.” But the newest and most ominous wrinkle in the denigration of all things elite is that the slur is being applied to knowledge itself.

Senator Hillary Clinton’s use of the phrase “elite opinion” to dismiss the near unanimous opposition of economists to her proposal for a gas tax holiday was a landmark in the use of elite to attack expertise supposedly beyond the comprehension of average Americans. One might as well say that there is no point in consulting musicians about music or ichthyologists about fish.

The assault on “elite” did not begin with politicians, although it does have political antecedents in sneers directed at “eggheads” during the anti-Communist crusades of the 1950s. The broader cultural perversion of its meaning dates from the late 1960s, when the academic left pinned the label on faculty members who resisted the establishment of separate departments for what were then called “minority studies.” In this case, two distinct faculty groups were tarred with elitism — those who wanted to incorporate black and women’s studies into the core curriculum, and those who thought that blacks and women had produced nothing worthy of study. Instead of elitist, the former group should have been described as “inclusionary” and the latter as “bigoted.”

The second stage of elite-bashing was conceived by the cultural and political right. Conservative intellectuals who rose to prominence during the Reagan administration managed the neat trick of reversing the ’60s usage of “elite” by applying it as a slur to the left alone. “Elite,” often rendered in the plural, became synonymous with “limousine liberals” who opposed supposedly normative American values. That the right-wing intellectual establishment also constituted a powerful elite was somehow obscured.

“Elite” and “elitist” do not, in a dictionary sense, mean the same thing. An elitist is someone who does believe in government by an elite few — an anti-democratic philosophy that has nothing to do with elite achievement. But the terms have become so conflated that Americans have come to consider both elite and elitist synonyms for snobbish.

All the older forms of elite-bashing have now devolved into a kind of aggressive denial of the threat to American democracy posed by public ignorance.

During the past few months, I have received hundreds of e-mail messages calling me an elitist for drawing attention to America’s knowledge deficit. One of the most memorable came from a man who objected to my citation of a statistic, from a 2006 National Geographic-Roper survey, indicating that nearly two-thirds of Americans age 18 to 24 cannot find Iraq on a map. “Why should I care whether my mechanic knows where Iraq is, as long as he knows how to fix my car?” the man asked.

But what could be more elitist than the idea that a mechanic cannot be expected to know the location of a country where thousands of Americans of his own generation are fighting and dying?

Another peculiar new use of “elitist” (often coupled with “Luddite”) is its application to any caveats about the Internet as a source of knowledge. After listening to one of my lectures, a college student told me that it was elitist to express alarm that one in four Americans, according to the National Constitution Center, cannot name any First Amendment rights or that 62 percent cannot name the three branches of government. “You don’t need to have that in your head,” the student said, “because you can just look it up on the Web.”

True, but how can an information-seeker know what to look for if he or she does not know that the Bill of Rights exists? There is no point-and-click formula for accumulating a body of knowledge needed to make sense of isolated facts.

It is past time to retire the sliming of elite knowledge and education from public discourse. Do we want mediocre schools or the best education for our children? If we need an operation, do we want an ordinary surgeon or the best, most elite surgeon available?

America was never imagined as a democracy of dumbness. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written by an elite group of leaders, and although their dream was limited to white men, it held the seeds of a future in which anyone might aspire to the highest — let us say it out loud, elite — level of achievement.

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Calling people an elitist because of their education is really just a way of trying to blame someone else for not being educated.

More than that - if you are trying to appeal to ignorance (and I tend to think that when the government is up to no good it actually relies on people not knowing the facts) it makes perfect sense to villify education.

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Suffice to say - this is yet more baiting and pandering to stereotypes.

Another perspective (interesting of course that "elitism" is an label applied consistently and only to liberal academics).

The Age of American Unreason

Exactly.I believe in respecting everyone's opinion.This world would be awfully boring if everyone thought the same now wouldn't it ?


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I've often noticed on this board and elsewhere that many folks , especially those of liberal bent- dismiss those who disagree with them as dumb or stupid or lacking of critical thinking.

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN? [9.9.08]

By Jonathan Haidt

JONATHAN HAIDT is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he does research on morality and emotion and how they vary across cultures. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN?

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.

If Democrats want to understand what makes people vote Republican, they must first understand the full spectrum of American moral concerns. They should then consider whether they can use more of that spectrum themselves. The Democrats would lose their souls if they ever abandoned their commitment to social justice, but social justice is about getting fair relationships among the parts of the nation. This often divisive struggle among the parts must be balanced by a clear and oft-repeated commitment to guarding the precious coherence of the whole. America lacks the long history, small size, ethnic homogeneity, and soccer mania that holds many other nations together, so our flag, our founding fathers, our military, and our common language take on a moral importance that many liberals find hard to fathom.

Unity is not the great need of the hour, it is the eternal struggle of our immigrant nation. The three Durkheimian foundations of ingroup, authority, and purity are powerful tools in that struggle. Until Democrats understand this point, they will be vulnerable to the seductive but false belief that Americans vote for Republicans primarily because they have been duped into doing so.

I agree with the professor, but I'd be cautious about making blanket statements as the one you made in your OP, metta. No one person here on this board represents another in terms of their views or beliefs about anything. Also, there's been a lot of bickering going on as of late and a lot of insulting from all angles. Just as I do not think that people here such as Gary represents all Republicans, neither does symbiosis represent all Democrats. That's where I find error in your argument. Call people on what they say....hold them accountable for their words and theirs alone....not anyone else's.

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I agree with the professor, but I'd be cautious about making blanket statements as the one you made in your OP, metta. No one person here on this board represents another in terms of their views or beliefs about anything. Also, there's been a lot of bickering going on as of late and a lot of insulting from all angles. Just as I do not think that people here such as Gary represents all Republicans, neither does symbiosis represent all Democrats. That's where I find error in your argument. Call people on what they say....hold them accountable for their words and theirs alone....not anyone else's.

I certainly agree with that - there's more than enough rank generalisations going around to sink the Titanic. Judging people by "type" is incredibly ignorant.

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S has anyone condidered mapping the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of Democrats??


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I've often noticed on this board and elsewhere that many folks , especially those of liberal bent- dismiss those who disagree with them as dumb or stupid or lacking of critical thinking.

In the academe, liberal intellectuals can hardly contain their disdain for the American public who more often than not, elect to the WH, leaders whom these denizens of the Ivory Tower deem

"anti-intellectual". Here is an example: On Stupidity

:lol::rofl::lol::rofl::lol::rofl:

Edited by *Marilyn*

mvSuprise-hug.gif

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I'm the opposite. I can't figure out what makes people vote Democrat-at least in California where I live. It simply blows me away that the majority of Californians are Democrats. We are in a state that has more people that stand to be hit by higher taxes under the Obama Presidency than any other state, and you know what? Californians HATE taxes. You can say that the majority are from San Francisco, but this makes less sense. Those are the most wealthy people in the state.

And environmentalism? HA! That is a huge laugh. Where else do you see more people driving giant SUVs alone on the highway? Most people here wouldn't dream of car pooling either, and nobody separates their recyclables. Don't tell me we are environmentalists.

What exactly is it that the Democratic Party has to offer me that I don't have? What??? Name one thing. I can only think of things they can take away. And everybody I meet is exactly the same as me too. It is extremely rare that I run into a Democrat., yet, the numbers show mostly Democrat. No comprende'.


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I'm the opposite. I can't figure out what makes people vote Democrat-at least in California where I live. It simply blows me away that the majority of Californians are Democrats. We are in a state that has more people that stand to be hit by higher taxes under the Obama Presidency than any other state, and you know what? Californians HATE taxes. You can say that the majority are from San Francisco, but this makes less sense. Those are the most wealthy people in the state.

And environmentalism? HA! That is a huge laugh. Where else do you see more people driving giant SUVs alone on the highway? Most people here wouldn't dream of car pooling either, and nobody separates their recyclables. Don't tell me we are environmentalists.

What exactly is it that the Democratic Party has to offer me that I don't have? What??? Name one thing. I can only think of things they can take away. And everybody I meet is exactly the same as me too. It is extremely rare that I run into a Democrat., yet, the numbers show mostly Democrat. No comprende'.

There's a good portion of the LA area, especially around OC, that's Republican.

However, here in the Bay Area even in the most wealthiest parts (who are supposed to be Republican because they hate taxes) willingly give up more taxes to get more things. It's also why, besides East Palo Alto, the Penninsula Area (not necessarily within SF) has some of the smallest crime rates I've ever seen in the state. From Monterey to Santa Cruz all the way through Silicon Valley, we're surrounded by mountains, hills, forest, and ocean/bay, so we like our environment to stay the way it is. I've seen far less and less big trucks, SUV's are here to stay regardless of the fuel used, and this area is doing well on it's way to making leaps and bounds toward individual homes powered by solar.

Can't escape the fact that the cost of living is high, but it's good to be in an area, while I disagree with their Democratic politicians, these people do have their heads on straight. And the push for individual rights like the choice of a woman to keep a baby or not, and especially gays the obvious right to marry, is the progressive nature that I enjoy most. It's an extremely diverse area, and unlike most of the nation, especially the mid-west, Republicans are making themselves look more progressive in order to even stand a chance. This is the "moderate" stuff I've known that's largely disappeared federally.

I wish more here would wise up and vote third party, but unfortunately getting people out of the scared "can't allow the Republicans" mentality is much, much more of a difficult and complicated task than reds and blues.

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I'm the opposite. I can't figure out what makes people vote Democrat-at least in California where I live. It simply blows me away that the majority of Californians are Democrats. We are in a state that has more people that stand to be hit by higher taxes under the Obama Presidency than any other state, and you know what? Californians HATE taxes. You can say that the majority are from San Francisco, but this makes less sense. Those are the most wealthy people in the state.

And environmentalism? HA! That is a huge laugh. Where else do you see more people driving giant SUVs alone on the highway? Most people here wouldn't dream of car pooling either, and nobody separates their recyclables. Don't tell me we are environmentalists.

What exactly is it that the Democratic Party has to offer me that I don't have? What??? Name one thing. I can only think of things they can take away. And everybody I meet is exactly the same as me too. It is extremely rare that I run into a Democrat., yet, the numbers show mostly Democrat. No comprende'.

There's a good portion of the LA area, especially around OC, that's Republican.

However, here in the Bay Area even in the most wealthiest parts (who are supposed to be Republican because they hate taxes) willingly give up more taxes to get more things. It's also why, besides East Palo Alto, the Penninsula Area (not necessarily within SF) has some of the smallest crime rates I've ever seen in the state. From Monterey to Santa Cruz all the way through Silicon Valley, we're surrounded by mountains, hills, forest, and ocean/bay, so we like our environment to stay the way it is. I've seen far less and less big trucks, SUV's are here to stay regardless of the fuel used, and this area is doing well on it's way to making leaps and bounds toward individual homes powered by solar.

Can't escape the fact that the cost of living is high, but it's good to be in an area, while I disagree with their Democratic politicians, these people do have their heads on straight. And the push for individual rights like the choice of a woman to keep a baby or not, and especially gays the obvious right to marry, is the progressive nature that I enjoy most. It's an extremely diverse area, and unlike most of the nation, especially the mid-west, Republicans are making themselves look more progressive in order to even stand a chance. This is the "moderate" stuff I've known that's largely disappeared federally.

I wish more here would wise up and vote third party, but unfortunately getting people out of the scared "can't allow the Republicans" mentality is much, much more of a difficult and complicated task than reds and blues.

We have a pretty damn low crime rate in Orange County too. And we don't really have high morals either! I have a friend who personally brought his girlfriend (aged 20-29) to the clinic for 4 abortions and he is rabidly Republican. The truth is that you are right. Most of us down here are actually liberatarians- to the letter- but we always vote Republican because the moral issues are just not that important to us. We actually love the death penalty too.


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I'm the opposite. I can't figure out what makes people vote Democrat-at least in California where I live. It simply blows me away that the majority of Californians are Democrats. We are in a state that has more people that stand to be hit by higher taxes under the Obama Presidency than any other state, and you know what? Californians HATE taxes. You can say that the majority are from San Francisco, but this makes less sense. Those are the most wealthy people in the state.

And environmentalism? HA! That is a huge laugh. Where else do you see more people driving giant SUVs alone on the highway? Most people here wouldn't dream of car pooling either, and nobody separates their recyclables. Don't tell me we are environmentalists.

What exactly is it that the Democratic Party has to offer me that I don't have? What??? Name one thing. I can only think of things they can take away. And everybody I meet is exactly the same as me too. It is extremely rare that I run into a Democrat., yet, the numbers show mostly Democrat. No comprende'.

Three points, the people you associate with are more likely than not to share your political positions. Your personal experience is probably not very representative of the whole.

I think a lot of it has to do with social issues and social justice more than anything. Anti abortion/gay marriage is not very popular.I would bet if the Republican party changed their stance on those issues, they would get quite a bit more support.

Nether party will get me anything, at least not directly. I will likely pay less taxes, under either candidate, Obama more so than McCain. Since my employer does not provide healthcare, my insurance might get a bit go down a bit if Obama manages to put his plan into place. But directly my life will change very little from either candidate. I suspect this is the case for most people.

However, the polcies of each candidate will indirectly impact the country for better or for worse.

McCain's tax plan will leave the country with a greater national debt, which will have an impact on value of the dollar. Especially if the debt is owned by forigen goverments.

Reducing cost of healthcare, will generate growth in other sectors of the economy as well as give consumers more money to spend on things other than healthcare. Also, more acceible healthcare will result in generally healthier workforce, which will improve productivity. Obama's plan handles this much better than McCain, but it still is a question as to weather he can pull it off.

Investment in Education is important as that money will help train tommrrows doctors, engineers, and ceo's. Who will innovate medicine, business, science and technology. If we only allow those who can afford it to go to collage, we limit our pool of talent considerably.

I could go on, but this election is not about the issues, and what is best for the country short and long term. Its about who you identify with. The latte drinking liberals from the big city or the god fearing conservatives from the small towns and suburbs.


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