Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, February 07, 2013

“It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative”

And that pretty well sums it up.  This comes from a study co-authored by Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott.

Here are some more links.

Fearful people are more likely to have conservative attitudes toward “out-groups.”  And this conservative/paranoid attitude gets played to the max with today’s hot button issues — immigration, the war on women, hostility toward minorities, champing at the bit to invade other (i.e. inferior) countries, etc.

The study is titled:  “Fear as a Disposition and an Emotional State: A Genetic and Environmental Approach to Out-Group Political Preferences.”  Rose McDermott says:

“It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative. People who are scared of novelty, uncertainty, people they don’t know, and things they don’t understand, are more supportive of policies that provide them with a sense of surety and security.”

A security blanket in other words.  There there now, just curl up in your little blanket and don’t worry be happy.  Jesus hates everybody who’s different from you, and America is Number One.

This won’t be easy, but we should probably have more empathy for fearful politicians and their paranoid constituents.  Rose McDermott says:

“We can roll our eyes and get really frustrated at Congress for being paralyzed, but we’re applying a rational perspective to it because we’re detached. But we have to recognize that a lot of what’s driving the paralysis and disagreement has to do with emotional factors that are not necessarily amenable to or easily shifted by rational arguments.”

Rational arguments???  It’s so much easier to just keep pushing the Fear button.

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11 Comments:

Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

McDermott's thesis is OK, as far as it goes. It's in keeping with the authoritarian products of an especially authoritarian upbringing logically being the way they are: big on boundaries, people knowing and keeping to their place in an established pecking order, etc.

But that's only a paertial explanation of why conservatives are the way they are. It only covers the "true believer" omponent of their personalities, perferences and M.O. Unaccounted for is how and why they typically behave with callous selfishness and bully tactics to advance their personal and group political fortunes, and their agenda.

February 7, 2013 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Seems to me they need daddy to tell them what to do and how to do it. We need to start calling it what it is, fear porn and we ALL know how much the fright wing loves them some porn, as long as they don't have to admit to it.

February 7, 2013 at 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It also doesn't explain the Conservative trait of inflicting on others conditions they themselves know are wrong that "better you then me" attitude. They are happy it isn't them.

That always seemed to be the main difference from liberalism.

Erik

February 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: To some extent, I think their bullying behavior is a compensation for being not quite 100% certain of their beliefs. If a person is desperately clinging to a belief but is only 98% certain of it, this person will go ballistic if anyone questions this idea or puts up an argument. That was somebody's theory anyway; I forget where I read it.

As far as their callousness and selfishness goes, I think that's just because they're assholes.

Jess: They need a strong father figure, and they also want to be that strong authority figure to everyone who ranks below them in the pecking order. And they sure do loves them some fear porn.

Erik: Same as their callousness, I think their "better you than me" "that's not my problem" attitude is just because they're assholes.

February 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Jess, George Lakoff and I would agree with you and Tom about the father figure thing so many conservatives seem to need so desperately.

I think the fear thing does lead to absolutism, and maybe it is a major contributing factor to why they seem unable to use humor to help advance their agenda (and why people like Donald Trump react the way they do when someone insults them). I have a blog post you might like to read that deals with the humor thing. 8-)

February 9, 2013 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I bet George Lakoff has been enjoying these last few months since Romney's trouncing. He had the clearest grasp of the Republican M.O. over the past few decades; the same M.O. that's coming unraveled now that the demographics have shifted.

February 10, 2013 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"immigration, the war on women, hostility toward minorities, champing at the bit to invade other (i.e. inferior) countries, etc."

These are concocted fears made up by the left about conservatives.
The left are the fear mongers. he children will starve,black people will have to go to the back of the bus,old people will get thrown off a cliff. That's the left talking not the right. And they have the media to get people's fear all drummed up.

And it doens't help that we have a bully for a president who sues one of it's own state for enforcing immigration laws tha the feds refuse to do.

February 11, 2013 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Lisa, next you'll tell us that a year ago, when in a primary debate Ron Paul was asked what should be done with osome guy in his thirties who springs a heart attack but doesn't have insurance, Paul hesitated, trying to come up with an answer. some yahoo in the audience hollered, "let him die" and the crowd of conservative Republicans laughed, cheered and applauded. That revealing incident wasn't something a pro-liberal media made up; it was shown on live TV in all its selfish ugliness

When it comes to fearmongering, nothing will top what George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of the crackpot crusaders cranked out in 2002-2003 so they could have their invasion of Iraq.

As usual, you're full of it. You're also practising projection while claiming the other side is doing that. It won't work.

February 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: You're right, projection is exactly what the Right is doing, while simultaneously accusing the Left of projecting. And it's becoming less effective, as the 2012 election demonstrated.

February 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

SW the people were clapping as he said that. The weren't clapping for that but like the left always does you manage to twist it like it like a pretzel until it sounds logical to you.

February 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

yeah the 2012 election was either those who are beneficiaries of government or they just like the corruption

February 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM  

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