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  •  Thank you Rick for those profound insights. (0+ / 0-)

    Food for more thought.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now". Rev. William Barber, If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:31:25 PM PDT

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    •  Thanks for the compliment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Denise Oliver Velez

      I'm actually just trying to understand why so many well-meaning and otherwise nice people that I have known could be so very irrational when it hurts others. The only answers I can find so far are (1) fear of change and the threats to them and their family that change brings, and (2) attaching themselves to leaders who promise to protect them and their families from those social changes.

      Bob Altemeyer in his excellent book The Authoritarians emphasizes that the leaders of authoritarian groups have to be explained separately from their followers. If the leaders are motivated by the desire for power and the followers are motivated by fear, clearly the behavior of the two groups will be different. We won't understand how otherwise clearly intelligent people like Mitt Romney can spout the crap they do if we don't recognize the different motivations between the leaders and the followers/voters.

      If I believed that a class society offered the stability that protected me, that I was in the upper class and belonged there because of my inherent virtues, and that the lower classes were angry at me and wanted to take what I have, then I would also very probably be afraid of those unlike me and as a result of the fear I would be angry or depressed. But very little that I have learned that is rational supports either that fear or its child, the anger and authoritarianism.

      I don't see much profundity in what I am saying. Mostly I see the results of social science and honest evaluation of what reality really is. I also recently read a report of a scientific study that says while people's brains  tend to deal with details less efficiently as they grow older, the tradeoff is that older brains have more memories of different fields of endeavor so they they tend to be better at recognizing broad social patterns. Needless to say that as I age that article is becoming my major support - and don't tell me otherwise, dammit!!

      [I haven't found any article supporting the fact that older people have better senses of humor than younger ones, but I'm looking for it!]

      And I still can't write short meaningful comments!! Curses!!!

      The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:01:13 PM PDT

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