Sunday, September 14, 2008

Post No. 42: If You Really Want to Do Some Thinking

Reprint of Article of Interest: What Makes People Vote Republican by Jonathan Haidt

Yesterday, a friend of many years sent me the article the link for which appears below. It is a fascinating piece of work. For my purposes, quite frankly, it is way too deep for me to process within an hour or two after reading it. Even a day or two would be insufficient time to be honest. There are segments of it which are intellectually and emotionally appealing. I will probably read it five to ten more times before trying to work through it.

I’ll tell you this at this point. As a general rule, I try to identify internal consistencies when reading someone’s analysis of an issue. There is one line which I think provides the essence of the argument: “Most democrats don’t understand that politics is more like a religion than it is like shopping.”

I saw George Will on Charlie Rose a couple of months ago. He essentially said that conservatism has the upper hand because it is “pure.” The problem with liberalism, according to Will, is that it comes off as elitist, in that it essentially says that “we can do a better job of thinking about your interests than you can.”

I’ve been processing Will’s comment for the past two months. This piece provides a little more meat around which I can place my arms.

This is work. This one will keep me up tonight. As the individual who sent it to me suggested, please read it in its entirety. It’s a journey that….


  1. In discussing this construct further with my colleague, the Optimizer, he suggested that it contained circular arguments and weak points. In particular, he questioned whether conservatives, particularly those in power (including politicians and corporate types)could legitimately refer to liberals as elitists, as did George Will. I reminded him that it is not about the leadership, but the followers / voters. What I think is being advanced is the following: "Don't tell me that I do not have the capability to make decisions for myself and my family. Who are you to do so, you arrogant liberal? If I want to limit my children to a particular way of thinking, or their exposure to sex education, what makes you think that you can interfere in that relationship and that you know how to function as a parent better than I do or can?"

    This Edge article deserves further consideration, no matter what side of the aisle on which you sit.

  2. Hi Logisitician,
    I will read and send you my two cents. Very intriguing.

  3. Thanks for tackling this one Vikki. I'm sure that your thoughts will be worth at least a dollar. I'd be real interested in your perspective.

  4. Thanks for tackling this one Vikki. I'm sure that your thoughts will be worth at least a dollar. I'd be real interested in your perspective.


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