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He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. 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?
But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: 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: 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.
A then-prevalent definition of the moral domain, from the Berkeley psychologist Elliot Turiel, said that morality refers to "prescriptive judgments of justice, rights, and welfare pertaining to how people ought to relate to each other.
There is no rational or health-related way to explain these laws. Why are grasshoppers kosher but most locusts are not? The emotion of disgust seemed to me like a more promising explanatory principle. The book of Leviticus makes a lot more sense when you think of ancient lawgivers first sorting everything into two categories: For my dissertation research, I made up stories about people who did things that were disgusting or disrespectful yet perfectly harmless.
Or how about a family whose dog is killed by a car, so they dismember the body and cook it for dinner? I read these stories to young adults and eleven-year-old children, half from higher social classes and half from lower, in the USA and in Brazil.
I found that most of the people I interviewed said that the actions in these stories were morally wrong, even when nobody was harmed. A few even praised the efficiency of recycling the flag and the dog.
This research led me to two conclusions. First, when gut feelings are present, dispassionate reasoning is rare. In fact, many people struggled to fabricate harmful consequences that could justify their gut-based condemnation.
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 conclusion was that the moral domain varies across cultures.
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.
In September I traveled to Bhubaneswar, an ancient temple town miles southwest of Calcutta. I brought with me two incompatible identities. On the one hand, I was a 29 year old liberal atheist who had spent his politically conscious life despising Republican presidents, and I was charged up by the culture wars that intensified in the s.
On the other hand, I wanted to be like those tolerant anthropologists I had read so much about. My first few weeks in Bhubaneswar were therefore filled with feelings of shock and confusion. I dined with men whose wives silently served us and then retreated to the kitchen.My Republican friends have often asked, with incredulous snarls: “Why are you a Democrat?
” I finally decided that I owed them, and myself, an honest reflection upon my choice of Party: I am a Democrat because shared sacrifice is, in my view, a greater act of patriotism than wearing a flag lapel pin.
I am a Democrat because shared sacrifice is, in my view, a greater act of patriotism than wearing a flag lapel pin. I am a Democrat because my faith is a private matter and not a litmus test of my quality as a .
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I love my library essay. Jan 25, · I am a Republican because the Republican Party better represents the philosophy of the nation’s founders, especially including Thomas Jefferson, and of Andrew Jackson, and of Abraham Lincoln, while the modern Democrat party increasingly has its intellectually roots in utopian European collectivism, not in American individualism.
Free republican papers, essays, and research papers. Current State of the Republican Party - It was a commonly held belief among the Republican party that Mitt Romney was almost a guaranteed win in the presidential election.