Skip to main content

Over the past year or so, I've become fascinated with the psychology behind our political choices.  I've found myself noticing a very basic divergence of thought processes between our two political parties.  I compare the two parties, then trying to nail down exactly what the difference are and figuring out what makes someone believe in that party.  Most of it is biological, believe it or not.  

Join me below the orange squiggle of facts for more.

There are a lot of differences between Dems and Cons, but the main difference I keep coming back to is facts versus feelings.

I hear a lot of arguments from Republicans, but it's rare that I hear a (valid) argument that is based on facts from their side.  Everything I hear is fear mongering, speculation, and out right lies.  Their facts are feelings, a gut feeling is as good as a well researched theory to them.  

Whether they're trying to make you feel happy or fearful, make no mistake, they are attempting to manipulate your feelings. Then again, this is the party that doesn't "believe" in science, so it really shouldn't surprise me.  But everytime I hear a Republican speech, it's full of unfounded accusations with no proof or facts to back up these outrageous claims - like Obama is a socialist or not a citizen or that he's a radical left wing extremist (which if that's the case, why are all the left wing extremists upset with him for being moderate?)

These statements are created by right wing messaging gurus to do nothing more than manipulate the emotions of the masses, unfortunately a lot of people are gullible.

With that being said, that would make the Democrats the party of facts.  Which plays into the fact that we've been losing the war on manipulating the masses for years (hence the reason "liberal" is practically a curse word now), because we've been fighting with facts.  You're not supposed to bring facts to a lie party, it's a knife-gun fight situation.

So now that we know this, what do we do?  Clearly trying to educate the masses with facts isn't working out for us.  But we also have morals and would rather not sink to the Con level of lying just to get votes.  Don't get me wrong, I think all politicians lie to some extent, every one does, but its a matter of degrees and content. Cons don't know when to quit, they take one lie, and it snowballs into another lie, which they double down on, and that causes an avalanche of lies to cover it up, and they promptly deny that an avalanche happened, even though they're waist deep in snow.

So facts versus feelings...which do you trust?

Poll

Which do you trust?

61%11 votes
11%2 votes
5%1 votes
22%4 votes

| 18 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  We think, they feel. (0+ / 0-)

    We know, they believe. You're right, this is an important difference.

  •  Well, Obama got elected. (0+ / 0-)

    So, apparently, the fairy tale didn't work all that well.

    Ordinary folk don't like to be lied to.  The first time around, Republicans had an advantage in that Obama was an unknown quantity.  This time will be different.  The only problem now is that people have short memories and the past can be spun, if we're not careful.
    The last time, political operatives were pretty good inoculating the fan base against Obama (making fun of "the one")  This time the fan base has to get all it wants.  Some people voted for Reagan because he was a movie star, democratic royalty.  Dubya played up the cowboy role, also a popular favorite.  "All hat, no cattle" was a tad mean in retrospect, especially now that cops haul out the cattle guards at the drop of a hat.
    I like the sheriff meme.  Obama in his black hat.  Now, if he could just round up some crooks, we'd be all set.  

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:11:57 AM PST

  •  Feelings are important, as is imagery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socalmonk

    To the human brain, imagery is very important.  We say, "A picture is worth a thousand words", and it should remind you of how important imagery is to the human brain.

    The psychology of politics and campaigning goes way beyond feeling vs. thinking.  Both left and right manipulate feelings and facts to compete successfully.

    I myself will not vote for a lying Democrat any more than I would vote for a lying Republican.

    An example: rememebr Obama's 2008 campaign?  He emphasized "hope" and "change" and told us "we are the people" and "now is the time".  He did not tell us he would continue the two failed wars of GW Bush, or that he would extend the Patriot Act, or murder American citizens without due process.  This was a clever manipulation of liberals and democrats.  Not really much diferent from Gingrich's manipulation of racist conservatives when he talks about "the food stamp president".

    You are on the right track in questioning psychology and the thinking of the voters.  But the feelings vs. facts dichotomy is way over simplified and won't help much in understanding how and why voters and campaign managers act the way they do.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:37:55 AM PST

    •  I can see that this topic may be simplified... (0+ / 0-)

      but the part about Obama, I don't agree.  I think the problem with your argument is that Obama said a lot of things, he's followed thru on about 80% of his campaign promises (which is pretty good as far as politicians go).  

      He didn't exactly "continue" the two wars, he brought one of them to a close and working on shutting down the other.  

      The other problem is that politicians make all these promises on the campaign trail which are just not possible.  Obama couldn't have, on day one, stop two wars.  That's not possible and it's not realistic.  What we need to do is close the expectation gap.  Everyone should have, by now, realized that some of what is said while campaign is either not true, or not possible, regardless of the election results.

      But my point with this diary was that Democrats tend to make decisions based on facts (like Obama has factually accomplished vs. what he promised) while Republicans tend to make decisions based on feelings (like if they have a gut feeling that Obama is a muslim socialist with nothing based in reality to back up that feeling).

      •  Have you ever watched Fox News? (0+ / 0-)

        If you watch Fox News you will find that they report the facts of the stories they cover.  The difference with CNN is that Fox covers different stories from those appearing on CNN.

        i.e both sides are reporting facts

        Here how it works: no Fox news anchor reports a story that Obama is a muslim socialist.  But what they do report is that some muslim wants to build a muslim center in NYC and Obama has not spoken out against it (notice - all factual).

        So to simplistically say conservatives only act on feelings and liberals only act on facts misses entirely that actual manipulation that is going on.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 12:19:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  IDK, for the sake of my sanity.... (0+ / 0-)

          I do not subject myself to watching any length of Fox News.  The clips I've seen of shows on there is enough.  I've never seen Fox deliver the whole story in a factual way.  Leaving our huge chunks of facts to paint the picture the shade they want it is a common technique.  Or they site another Fox News reporter for the story, who sites an "anonymous source" or another Fox News reporter.

          "Facts" for Fox News has a different definition than what I tend to think of facts as.  Partial truths are also known as partial lies.  People who solely get their news from Fox News are less informed about reality and 50 times more likely to be brainwashed.

          •  Your grasp of "facts" is not that much different (0+ / 0-)

            Your treatment of "facts" is not that much different the conservative approach to "facts".

            You do not take the time to find out how and what Fox News is actually about, instead getting your "facts" from carefully edited second-hand sources.

            Exactly what many on the left complain about how conservatives aquaint themselves of "the facts".

            In doing so, you amplify my original point that the voting public is manipulated in many ways beyond the simplistic feelings vs. facts dichotmy.  

            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:34:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think so... (0+ / 0-)

              The huge problem with your statement is that I never told you where I get my news from.  How can you make this statement "instead getting your "facts" from carefully edited second-hand sources."  So just because I don't watch Fox News, now I'm not basing my arguments on facts?  Where are your facts to back that up?

              •  Please understand, I am not attacking you (0+ / 0-)

                only criticizing what I feel is a simplistic argument - that liberals vote based on facts and cons vote based on feelings.

                I do not know where you get your news from.  I only know what you said in a previous comment:

                "I do not subject myself to watching any length of Fox News.  The clips I've seen of shows on there is enough."

                This suggests to me that you do not have first-hand experience watching Fox News, but what you know of Fox News you get from second-hand sources that are edited for content ("clips").

                I am sorry if I got that wrong.  

                And no doubt there are ample reasons to be critical of Fox News.  But if you did watch Fox News, you would find them pretty much as I describe them: reporting stories factually, but reporting a different set of stories from what get reported at CNN or NY Times.  

                "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

                by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:54:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  The great liberal myth..."If they knew what we (0+ / 0-)

    know, they'd think like we think and vote like we'd vote." Uh-uh. Emotions, particularly fear, rule the ballot box. And politicians and the corporations they represent know that, and do their best to keep us all scared shitless. Makes us easier to manipulate, and keeps most of us, including many liberals, from trying anything new and dangerous, like single-payer, or basing our economy on something other than war and the willful impoverishment of millions to enrich the few. Makes the right and the center demonize the left for being "radical" for suggesting improvements to health, education and welfare. It took the Black Panthers to get a decent school lunch program in Oakland, because the republicans and the democrats wouldn't touch it. School lunch...pretty damned radical.

    A little object lesson I use in AA (yup), where folks like to say, "Facts aren't feelings!" in an attempt to demonstrate the superiority of facts over feelings. True, facts are not feelings, and that does not make them more important.

    Albert Einstein is at the front of the classroom, explaining his brilliant theory of relativity to a bunch of high school sophomores. Most of them aren't going to remember too much of what he says, unless he threatens poor students with a detention for failing the next quiz. They will remember he's an asshole for threatening them, though. Dr. Einstein drops his chalk on the floor, and it obeys the principles he has explained. Dead air. He bends over to pick it up and splits the seat of his trousers...the students break into raucous laughter, and the good doctor is thoroughly embarrassed, stands up and leaves the classroom. The students have just voted, based on their feelings, not on the facts presented, and will remember that Dr. Einstein is either an asshole who is too free with handing out detention slips or a dweeb for busting his britches, or both. Relativity? Not so much.

    Feelings developed long before reason in humans, and are far more visceral...they change our body chemistry. In fact, they change our body chemistry in ways that affect our thinking to the degree that we may become what is commonly described as mentally ill. Not all mental illness can be ascribed to emotional upset, but much of it can. Where do you suppose many of these chemical imbalances originate?

    Facts and feelings are different, and interact constantly. Feeling more frequently trump facts than vise versa. It is they way we have evolved. For thinking to overrule feelings takes education and practice and discipline. Now tell a teabagger that his vote for Ron Paul is the result of evolution.

    •  I'm not trying to change anyone's vote.... (0+ / 0-)

      or even saying that one way is better than the other.  It's just that they are different.  Choice is political leaning is more biological than most people realize.

      I know that a lot of people do not depend on facts, feelings are more important.  I personally, depend on facts, not feelings.  I have, many times, overruled my feelings because of facts I've learned.

      I was just pointing out a difference that I see.  I read a study on the differences in brain chemistry between Conservatives and Democrats, and it sparked my interest.

      What you said "Feelings developed long before reason in humans" only reenforces the names of Progressives vs Regressives.  Progressives tend to want evolution, want to move forward and accept changes.  Regressives want to stay living in a cave.

    •  Agreed!! (0+ / 0-)

      Both liberals and conservatives vote based on their feelings and on the facts - as they understand them!!!

      And both left and right are skillfully manipulated by election campaigns that understand better than the voters how to use both facts and feelings to bring about a desired result.

      Of course it feels nice to pretend we vote of the facts and those other deluded fools only attend to their feelings.  But this kind of thinking does not help us understand why voters behave the way they do.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:42:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site