Where things will go your way...or they won't

Thursday, November 13, 2008

why people vote for republic party

This has been around for a minute and I meant to write about it but with the election I never found the time.  Jonathan Haidt makes the case that liberals "don't get it" about right wing voters because they operate through a different moral foundations.  

I would say that the second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way.
When Republicans say that Democrats "just don't get it," this is the "it" to which they refer....
A Durkheimian ethos can't be supported by the two moral foundations that hold up a Millian society (harm/care and fairness/reciprocity). My recent research shows that social conservatives do indeed rely upon those two foundations, but they also value virtues related to three additional psychological systems: ingroup/loyalty (involving mechanisms that evolved during the long human history of tribalism), authority/respect (involving ancient primate mechanisms for managing social rank, tempered by the obligation of superiors to protect and provide for subordinates), and purity/sanctity (a relatively new part of the moral mind, related to the evolution of disgust, that makes us see carnality as degrading and renunciation as noble). These three systems support moralities that bind people into intensely interdependent groups that work together to reach common goals..

I find this pretty convincing and Haidt gives some useful advice for the Democrats to try and take fuller advantage of the latter three moral foundations.  However the Enlightenment thinker in me can't help but think that instead pandering to these factors we should try to change them.  Be cause to me ingroup/loyalty reads, tribalism, authority/respect eqauls hierarchy and blind obedience, purity/sanctity is disgust.(Obviously I followed the author's lead.)  

The problem being that all of these values are fear based, the first two are probably part of our primate brain, and I find that operating out of fear to be a troubling way to live, which perhaps explains why I am a liberal/commie.(also the fact that this post is the first time I have used the label morality is a pretty good indicator that I lack the latter three moral foundations.)

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