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June 27, 2007

Science: Democrats Lose Elections Because They're Just Too Damn Rational

If I'm taking Allah's post, why not his headline too?

This has to be read to be believed. The Democrats, who cry hysterically about the dawning New Age of Fascism ushered in by the Patriot Act, who scream that allowing people to invest Social Security money in investments that they themselves all invest in is somehow a crazy gamble, that any reform to Medicaid or Social Security constitutes a stealth euthanasia of the elderly, who shriek that the world is about to end due to global warming, etc....

...are taking comfort, yet again, in a self-flattering bit of psuedoscience and pop psychology that confirms the only real political issue that matters to them: That they're better, in some way, than someone else.

If Democrats are so gosh-darn scientifically minded, how can a liberal writer at liberal Newsweek quote a liberal book by a liberal writer and not note the glaring scientific problem here?

When voters are hooked up to brain-imaging devices while watching candidates, it is emotion circuits and not the rational frontal lobes that are most engaged. When voters assess who won a campaign debate, they almost always choose the candidate they liked better beforehand. The rationality circuit “isn’t typically open for business when partisans are thinking about things that matter to them,” Westen notes. Yet “this is the part of the brain to which Democrats typically target their appeals.”

What, precisely, does "neuroscience" back up? That people respond to emotional inputs? Obviously. One hardly needs a brain scanner to prove this point.

But what about the crucial part of this thesis -- that Democrats appeal to the rational sectors of the brain? Does "neuroscience," or any science, or any rigorous analysis of campaign pitches, back this up?

Of course not. This crucial evidence -- without which there is no thesis at all -- is simply assumed to be true.

How does a "rationally-minded liberal" miss the fact that he just assumed as true, with no scientific basis, the key evidence upon which his entire theory lives or dies?

Could it be that he's a tad emotionally invested in the proposition that he is rationally minded, and his ego-based self-affirmation emotions are somehow acting to blind him to the very real lack of empirical evidence for his claims?

Nah. He must be more rational. He's a liberal.

PS, he's also more compassionate than conservatives, too. He has more empathy for the poor, sick, and oppressed.

So he's got both advantages over you -- he's more rational, but also more in touch with his emotions.

Either way -- both ways, really -- you just suck and should acknowlege he's your moral and intellectual superior. Because, and I stress, this is the only goddamned "political point" he cares about anyway. If you just concede this to him, maybe he'll go away.


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posted by Ace at 04:53 PM

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