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Just ran across the best (and scariest) explanation for why American politics has gotten so much more divisive than it has been since shortly after what some of us in the South refer to as The Late Unpleasantness.

"For the first time in our history," says Haidt, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, "the parties are not agglomerations of financial or material interest groups, they're agglomerations of personality styles and lifestyles. And this is really dangerous. Because if it's just that you have different interests, that doesn't mean I'm going to hate you. It just means that we've got to negotiate, I want to win, but we can negotiate. If it's now that 'You people on the other side, you're really different from me, you live in a different way, you pray in a different way, you eat different foods than I do,' it's much easier to hate those people. And that's where we are."
There's more across the squiggly...

To unpack a bit more what this means, consider "harm." This moral foundation, which involves having compassion and feeling empathy for the suffering of others, is measured by asking people how much considerations of "whether someone cared for someone weak and vulnerable" and "whether or not someone suffered emotionally" factor into their decisions about what is right and wrong. As you can see, liberals score considerably higher on such questions. But now consider another foundation, "purity," which is measured by asking people how much their moral judgments involve "whether or not someone did something disgusting" and "whether or not someone violated standards of purity or decency." Conservatives score dramatically higher on this foundation.
I could keep on quoting from the piece but you really should just go take in the whole thing here. I think you'll find it illuminating.

What it tells us is that the Republican Party HAS to shed the Teabaggers and allow them to be properly marginalized.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Haidt is heading in the right direction. (19+ / 0-)

    I have posted my theory on this question several times in a variety of similar diaries and I always get slammed, so I won't do it in detail, but Evolution by Natural Selection has produced two living varieties of our species. One I call tyranni and they work against the common good. The other I call democrati and they work for the common good. When the more aggressive tyranni step forward to take power, the more numerous democrati step back to let them pass. This has been reflected throughout human history, and has been observed by many people over the years. This dichotomy is the basis for most of our government structures and policies.

    Most of our public institutions can have two forms depending on who controls them. We have tyranno-Christianity and democrato-Christianity, tyranno-capitalism and democrato-capitalism, tyranno-political parties and democrato-political parties.

    When I was a boy the Democratic party was tyranno in nature because tyranni controlled it. Now the Republican party is the tyranno one because the tyranni have migrated from the Democratic party to the Republican party.

    And so it goes.

    Let the nastiness begin.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:55:58 AM PST

    •  Is there evidence showing that authoritarianism (4+ / 0-)

      is genetic?  It certainly can run in families or even societies, but that's likely a cultural phenomenon.  Authoritarian impulses are also likely a continuum among people, not a manichean divide into two different types of people.  George Lakeoff describes the nurturant parent vs. strict authoritarian parent models as peacefully coexisting in the same brains, each waiting to be activated by the appropriate stimuli.  The stimulus mileu one inhabits is cultural, not genetic.

      We see this when people flip into the "tyranni" group after listening to too much right wing propaganda, yet more evidence of this being a cultural rather than a genetic trait.  For that matter, go to a liberal gathering.  Do you see only one type of person there?  Likely you'll see a whole range of personality types present, with perhaps a slight skewing away from authoritarian types.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:15:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Studies I've seen say no evidence - or nothing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob, FarWestGirl, ebohlman

        I've never seen a study that links authoritarianism to a genetic cause. I don't recall any that address nurture/nature issues.

        Framing authoritarianism as a binary condition is a false dilemma. It's neither. It's not a condition.

        Framing it as a variety of the human species is the same bullshit used to "prove" the "science" of eugenics.

        Authoritarianism isn't about being the authority, it's all about belonging to a group that seeks security and strength from someone perceived as a powerful authority figure.

        So when you refer to authoritarian impulses, this implies a reference to the authority figure, the one perceived as powerful. The millions of authoritarian followers can't be described as having authoritarian impulses, imo.

        Ted Cruz is an example of a powerful authority figure that appeals to authoritarians because he "stands firm" and won't back down". It doesn't matter that his stated plan to destroy the government has devastating consequences. What matters is that his plan is "bold" and "strong".

        In the context of Ted Cruz, his behavior is conditioned, imo. His far right wingnut birther teabagger Bible-thumping preacher father has royally fucked up Ted Cruz's brain. Btw, there's almost no correlation between irrational thinking and intelligence. Thus, Ted Cruz isn't executing a clever plan that he knows is nonsensical. He believes in the nonsense he spews. He's also skilled at oratory and manipulation. But he is incapable of forming rational thoughts.

        Another example is WI Gov. Snotty Walker. His father is also a far right wing evangelical Reconstructionist preacher. I can't tell the difference between the batshit insane doctrines other than they seem to be centered in different theological seminaries.

        More? Sarah Palin. Michele Bachmann. Rick Santorum....

        Right wing evangelical Dominionists and End Times believers could be classified as authoritarians, imo. Occasionally, one of them will drastically flip and abandon their authoritarianism in an instant.

        My 42 cents....

        "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:42:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Important observation there (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1, GrumpyOldGeek
          Btw, there's almost no correlation between irrational thinking and intelligence.
          This needs to be shouted from every roof. Among people with irrational beliefs, higher intelligence translates into more elaborate and seemingly-convincing rationalizations for those beliefs, not re-examination of them. As skeptic Michael Shermer famously said, smart people often believe weird things because their intelligence makes them particularly skilled at justifying to themselves decisions that they arrived at for non-smart reasons.

          Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

          by ebohlman on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:04:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You seem awfully sure of yourself, without (0+ / 0-)

          providing any authoritative support, except for yourself, of course.

          Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

          by hestal on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 06:24:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is this evidence you;re an authoritarian? (0+ / 0-)

            Yeah, tongue-in-cheek, but that really is what you're asserting in a way.

            An authority on authoritarianism [heh] is Bob Altemeyer and his in-depth studies on the subject. His classic paper is The Authoritarians (pdf). There are many references and diaries here on DKos that refer to Altemeyer's work. Read it. Twice. It's worthwhile reading.

            SHould you be thinking that this subject is biased to favor left leaning politics, it isn't. You could read John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience. Not exactly a left-leaning author...

            Does intelligence correlate with the ability to think rationally? Perhaps this article in Scientific American Minds (pdf) will introduce you to the subject.

            Or, instead of just posting insulting personal remarks because I didn't provide sources, footnotes, quotes, and scholarly reviews for a goddamn comment in a DKos diary, you could have used the Google Machine or searched DKos and done your own fact-checking. You would have found thousands of references that provide authoritative support for everything I've written in my comment. But I graciously provided some links for you. You're welcome.

            While you're at it, Google "Ad Hominem fallaciy".

            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

            by GrumpyOldGeek on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:13:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I did supply some authorities down below. (0+ / 0-)

              You should be glad to see that John W. Dean is one whose books support my thesis. Furthermore there a reference to E. O. Wilson who talks about the genetic component of this question. I hope you get over whatever it is that makes you so angry.
              Have a nice day.

              Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

              by hestal on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 11:52:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I said I wouldn't go into details, but (0+ / 0-)

        since you asked, here is an excerpt from a book I am about to publish. Yes, I have written an entire book on this subject:

        I am not the only one to observe these varieties. Others have often noticed tyranni, but they have rarely noticed democrati. Apparently the behavior exhibited by democrati is tacitly regarded as “normal.” Many of those who have noticed tyranni have taken the trouble to write about them. They call them by different names. George Washington called them “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men.” James Madison described them as men who form groups that pursue policies that are inimical to the common good. He called these groups “factions,” and he described those who form them thusly:
        Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.
        Martha Stout, an author and psychologist, called them “sociopaths,” and she observed that they have no conscience. Lord Acton called them “corrupt.” Former president Jimmy Carter called them “fundamentalists.” John W. Dean, former legal counsel to Richard Nixon, called them “authoritarians,” and “conservatives without conscience.” Former president John Quincy Adams described them as men who burned slaves “for the terror of the example,” and who believed that slavery was a natural thing which exalted the slave owner. The American Psychiatric Association describes them as men who have “Antisocial Personality Disorder,” or “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” Lawrence E. Harrison, a scholar on culture, wrote about two different cultures that, in my view, emerge from the two varieties of human beings: “Progress-Prone” and “Progress-Resistant.” I.W. Charny, a scholar who writes on genocide, said that the two kinds of human beings have two different kinds of minds: fascist and democratic. Edward O. Wilson, a scientist who writes on evolution, explains how human evolution has resulted in a fundamental conflict between behaviors that favor the success of the individual human and behaviors that favor the success of groups of humans.
        Here is another quote from my book that covers your question about the genetic basis for these two varieties of humankind:
        If Charles Darwin were still alive, I think that he would say that Edward O. Wilson is one of those “naturalists having sound judgment and wide experience,” that we should listen to. Wilson has written many important books on various topics concerning evolution. His latest, The Social Conquest of Earth, may well be his most important. In it, He says that these two conflicting behaviors have a genetic basis:
        Alleles (the various forms of each gene) that favor survival and reproduction of individual group members at the expense of others are always in conflict with alleles of the same and alleles of other genes favoring altruism and cohesion in determining the survival and reproduction of individuals. Selfishness, cowardice, and unethical competition further the interest of individually selected alleles, while diminishing the proportion of altruistic, group-selected alleles. These destructive propensities are opposed by alleles predisposing individuals toward heroic and altruistic behavior on behalf of members of the same group. Group-selected traits typically take the fiercest degree of resolve during conflicts between rival groups.
        Wilson’s conclusion is that this conflict, this struggle between two kinds of humans, has only one outcome:  
        An unavoidable and perpetual war exists between honor, virtue, and duty, the products of group selection, on one side, and selfishness, cowardice, and hypocrisy, the products of individual selection, on the other side.

        … In summary, the human condition is an endemic turmoil rooted in the evolution processes that created us. The worst in our nature coexists with the best, and so it will ever be. To scrub it out, if such were possible, would make us less than human.

        I can think of no better description of our present predicament. The Darwinian struggle has long been with us.  In fact, Darwin foresaw that the struggle could be violent even among relatives. In the third chapter of Origin he included this section heading:
        Struggle for Life most severe between
        Individuals and Varieties of the same Species.
        The best we can do is to do our best. We must control the harmful effects of tyranni, we must control the harmful effects of factions—we must work for the common good. Fortunately, there is a way forward.

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

        by hestal on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 06:21:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Chris Mooney has done a lot of work (17+ / 0-)

    covering the science behind the differences between Conservatives and Liberals.

    Diagnosing the Republican Brain

    •  so can we declare conservatives mentally ill? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH, tofumagoo

      Legal incompetence would be grounds for eliminating their ability to vote and hold public office at the minimum.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:35:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is very interesting that the American (11+ / 0-)

        Psychiatric Association (APA) has included two diagnoses that fit conservatives: Antisocial Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. There is no diagnosis for liberals. Evidently the APA tacitly believes that liberals are normal.

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

        by hestal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:46:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is that under certain circumstances a completely properly-functioning brain can come up with serious delusions which, though they might appear similar to the delusions of someone who's genuinely psychotic, actually originate by a completely different mechanism.

        Those circumstances involve the removal of what I'll call social sanity checks. Left to our own devices, we can all come up with some pretty strange ideas, but normally we evaluate them against other people's responses to expressions of them and against the background provided by other people's expressions of their ideas. However, if you surround yourself with only people who share your general attitudes, read/watch/listen to only media that tell you what you want to hear, and so on, those strange ideas get stronger and in fact become infectious.

        For example, there have been several attempts to create online support groups for survivors of sexual abuse. Most of them have eventually failed. Why? Because, with the very best of intentions, those groups tried to provide a completely safe space where nothing a survivor said could be challenged and anything that might be triggering would be disallowed. That would always start out well, but eventually a few subscribers to truly wild mass-conspiracy theories would completely dominate all the discussion, and everybody who wasn't a True Believer got driven out. (I hope Tree Climbers figures out a way to avoid this)

        Sociologists have in fact come up with a name for communities where people actively shelter each other from any information that might call their beliefs and attitudes into question: "rumor communities" (the anti-vaccination site Age of Autism is a pretty good illustration of one).

        The neurological underpinning of all this appears to be that the human brain must, quite literally, expend more energy to weaken a belief than to strengthen one. Consequently, when people are exposed to an equal amount of information supporting and opposing their beliefs, the beliefs become stronger. When there's no information opposing their beliefs, the beliefs can grow into monsters.

        Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

        by ebohlman on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:25:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Teabaggers for Tea Party is an offensive term! (18+ / 0-)

    It's not fair to people who like to put balls in their mouth.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:16:29 AM PST

  •  For My Money This is Effect More Than Cause (17+ / 0-)

    The rightwing revolution has been working on breaking us apart along these lines for half a century.

    They didn't only work on the common people, they worked on ownership as well. Between deregulation, eliminating truly progressive individual taxation, and globalization, they eliminated most of ownership's common interests with the people's (and the nation's). And likewise for the enterprises they own.

    So the people lost most of the greater private powers of civilization as allies in most issues, while the upper class has more in common with its peers globally than with its consumers, laborers and citizens here.

    At the same time the rightwing went to work on converting fundamentalist religion to a politicized rightwing force (they had been apolitical before the 70's), and helping them expand their numbers into more suburban and more middle class demographics.

    Fundamentalism as a philosophy is very us-and-them oriented; you're us if you obey our authorities, otherwise you're them. And since they're chartered to take over society and run it by their authorities, there's no meaning to collaboration and cooperation with the thems.

    Humans as individuals aren't as starkly divided as our politics suggest, it's the stark divide between ownership seeking aristocratic and authoritarian rule vs the forces and policies of our democratic society that resist aristocracy to support the masses that has been artificially magnifying our tendencies.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:29:23 AM PST

    •  They've been conditioned to feel these are the (6+ / 0-)

      end times for society, if not religiously.  So few resources to go around, so blame certain, innocent  groups and get the highly fearful voting with you . . . until their fears get so far out of control that you can't hope to satisfy their growing pit of growing worry, from the FUD you've fomented.  It's a Republican dilemma, but now a national one.

      I'm actually glad to get the deluded mouth-breathers out into the open: they would always have held back the rest from socially reforming and seeing better ideas, so we now have a chance to more specifically mock and diminish the far-right, libertarian, selfishly fearful extremists by putting them in a box of their own ridiculous emotions.

      I think the only science going on here is cause and effect from social conditioning by right-wing/libertarian leaders.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:34:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why? (9+ / 0-)
    If it's now that 'You people on the other side, you're really different from me, you live in a different way, you pray in a different way, you eat different foods than I do,' it's much easier to hate those people
    I don't give a yippy skip that other people pray, love, eat differently than me.  Surely when a person has a few braincells to rub together, they should at least have self-interest to guide them.  The things they should care about are the ones that other people do that actually and directly affect them, and most seriously so.

    Does whether or not two random guys marry each other do diddly squat to affect my life?  Does it jeopardize my family, my faith, whether or not I'll live to see another sunrise?  No?  Then why the hell should it matter to me (or them?)

    I can understand economic ignorance, and people actually believing economic mistruths or half-truths about things like taxation.  They might actually believe they are hurt.   And the solution there is to show them how they're actually affected.  Federal dollars flow out of blue states and into red states.  They ought to LOVE taxation and redistribution of wealth by the government, but they've been lied to so long by the wealthy folks who exploit them and drain off what should be their fair pay as 'profit' that they fight ferociously for the rights of such people to exploit them.  That just means we have to spend more time actually getting facts to the people, rather than lies.

    •  except fundies think they're above self-interest (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuWho, NancyWH, kurt
      Surely when a person has a few braincells to rub together, they should at least have self-interest to guide them.
      The weird thing is that large parts of the right wing (both secular and religious) think that self-interest is what defines liberalism - "Give me what I want because I want it because I AM!" - while hard-workin', God-fearin', flag-wavin', family-valuin' conservatives are defined by and devoted to something outside and bigger than themselves, not all of which is material.  Teabaggers especially cast both the rich and the poor as parasites taking what they did not make, and for the same reasons: base, mindless, animal grasping.

      The diarist compared liberals and conservatives not on Self vs. Other lines, but rather on compassion vs. righteousness.  Conservatives judge the action above the intent so while both self service and service to others according to the standards of the community handed down by God is not only acceptable but mandatory, both self service and service to others according to any other standard is not only unacceptable, but [ought to be] forbidden.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:53:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Haidt has done years of research into why and how (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Catte Nappe

      it is easier to hate people who are different or perceived as different.  It has nothing to do with logic.  Nothing to do with reason.  You should check out his work.

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 01:43:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am a big Haidt fan (5+ / 0-)

        I saw him interviewed by Bill Moyers and that same evening downloaded his latest book, "The Righteous Mind". It is very interesting book that I would highly recommend to any political junkie or political scientist. I think that one of his conclusions, based on research he has personally conducted, is that of all the combinations of liberals, independents, and conservatives, liberals understand conservatives least well.  That's certainly confirmed here at DKOS, on a daily basis.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:14:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  undestanding can be asymmetic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The ability to measure another person's understanding of concepts  one may not understand oneself seems likely to be either inaccurate or suspect.

          It's been my observation that misunderstanding the psychology of other humans cuts across political attitudes. From my observation the inability to understand other people has a lot more to do with the context of our culture than personal politics.

          I think of Daily Kos as something similar to a soapbox placed at a busy street corner. Some subjects that might benefit from a careful conversation in a quiet and focused setting are less likely to occur in this setting. The depth of knowledge of some participants may or may not be accurately reflected in the speeches made from the soapbox by others.


  •  The absence of shame is a significant factor in (9+ / 0-)

    allowing this polarization to reach the current point of dangerous dysfunction. Most societies develop some collective notion of what is considered shameful behavior, and this is what underpins notions of honor. Shameful behavior is not illegal - simply repugnant to common sensibilities. In many cases we actually don't want to make such behavior illegal since that may often bring a myriad of unintended consequences.

    In 2009 a parliamentary expenses scandal erupted in the UK, and, as the wikipedia entry noted

    It resulted in a large number of resignations, sackings, de-selections and retirement announcements, together with public apologies and the repayment of expenses.
    The resignations included the first by a sitting Speaker of the House in 300 years, and the total amounts repaid were about $800,000! Quelle horreur!

    To an American audience - this story mass resignations and repayments over such a paltry sum seems impossibly quaint. Even when caught red-handed in expenses fraud, or insider trading - it's almost impossible to put together a vote of censure let alone force a resignation in the US Congress. The only notable exceptions in recent time I can think of are Charles Rangel (censured and forced to resign from House and Means chair), and Anthony Wiener (voluntarily resigned from Congress). That these were both Democrats is no accident, no Republican I'm aware of has been shamed into resignation in the last decade. Usually its only the imminent threat of prosecution that may force the issue.

    What I believe has happened is shame has disappeared from the public toolkit for Republicans because the either shelter in the IOKIYAR bubble of Fox News, or can enjoy irony free treatment on the Sunday Morning talks shows where their reprehensible selfishness and hypocrisy is handled by any of the following:

    1. Did I really say that - well that was another time (when the black dude wasn't in the white house)
    2. Both sides have to take repsonsibility
    3. But we owe it to the grandkids (to screw the current working poor)
    4. We must protect the unborn (and screw the already born)

    The utter inability to shame these people given the gerrymandering of their political environment, and now the gerrymandering of their media environment is what has enabled and empowered the Tea Party fanatics. They understand this dynamic very well - as the right is lightning fast to try and shame the rest of us into falling on our swords and thereby achieving Tea Party objectives. Their favorite call over the last three years is for someone in the Administration to resign (they keep hoping to trick Obama into doing so) - yet I have seen not one unforced instance of a Republican resigning in the 17 years I've lived in the US.

    •  I Disagree About Using Shame As A Motivator (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH, BlackSheep1, nextstep

      It has been used in some of the most hideous ways that any perceived good it might do is not worth it.

      For example "slut shaming" woman.

      Shaming gays and lesbians for simply being born gay.


      "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

      by kerplunk on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:48:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  *women (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

        by kerplunk on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:52:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good points, but I think they also serve to (6+ / 0-)

          show that the behavioral targets of shame are not constant - and that is what gives shaming a useful power. Of course shame can be and has been, horribly abused, but it's role in social development is precisely the ability to track with social attitudes. Nothing could illustrate this better than the very examples you've chosen.

          In 2004 Republicans ginned up a number of anti-marriage-equality ballot measures to appear on State ballots at the same time as the Bush-Kerry election. All these ballot initiatives passed and may have helped mobilise Conservatives to the polls. Just 8 years later and we had three affirmative ballot initiatives (one here in Washington State) that passed and one negative one in Minnesota that failed. By 2012 the overwhelming public shame was to be a homophobe, and even the President had come out in favor of marriage equality. Now the bigots are whining loudly about how oppressed they are not being able to vent their bigotry in public - because now they're on the receiving end of the very sense of shame that they were used to wielding just a decade before.

          One other illustration of how misuse of shaming can backfire is the "slut-shaming" you mentioned - Rush Limbaugh's creepy use of this is the major factor in the increasingly successful effort to shame advertisers into dropping any association with him. Because shame is based upon a public consensus, rather than a literal or constant interpretation, attempts to use past notions of shame can backfire - to the consternation of conservatives these days.

          Now if only we could make cutting food stamps shameful...

          •  Indeed, the Flush Rush campaign (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is an example of using shame.  The problem isn't using shame; it's that people have long shamed others for the wrong reasons.

            Republicans have tried to repeal the ACA 42 times now, knowing it would fail. That means we have a party full of people who don't learn from repeating the same mistake 42 times.

            by nominalize on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:00:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps the shame isn't so much gone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ShoshannaD, concernedamerican, pgm 01

      as it is secondary to a higher cause.  The right wing will tolerate sexual pecadillos or financial fraud since the real war is over their way of life.  When politics is about cultural issues, about a side's very way of life, then there is little they won't sacrifice for the cause, including the destruction of the world economy.

      Thus dems resign over corruption because for our side, politics really is about economics and individual rights.  Not so on the right, where they are fighing holy battles that transcend quaint things like corruption or sex scandle (at least if the sex offender is sufficiently repentent to God).

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:31:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  islandchris - there have been numerous Repblicans (0+ / 0-)

      shamed from office in the past 17 years. Off the top of my head Mark Foley (R-FL16) comes to mind as one example.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:28:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok - you got me there with the "never be caught (0+ / 0-)

        with a dead girl or a live boy" rule. So let me rephrase my challenge - what Republican Senator or Congressperson has voluntarily resigned in the last 17 years for a reason not related to a sex scandal or impending indictment for crimes committed?
        For example - the following don't count because the individuals had either been indicted or were about to be indicted for crimes committed (courtesy wikipedia):
        NOTE - There were plenty of Democrats in this list as well - Congress has been pretty rotten for a long time.

        Tom Delay (R-TX), 2010, money laundering
        Ted Stevens (R-AK), 2008, bribery and tax evasion
        Rick Renzi (R-AZ), 2008, fraud, conspiracy and money laundering
        Bob Ney (R-OH), 2006, corruption (sentenced to 30 months)
        Randy Cunningham (R-CA), 2005, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion
        Bill Janklow (R-SD), 2003, second-degree manslaughter
        Wes Cooley (R-OR), 1997, fraudulent claims on Voter Info, pressured not to run again, facing more charges up to 16 years

  •  How Does One Negotiate With This Creature? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Anderson tried.

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:40:14 AM PST

    •  You Don't, You Marginalize It (6+ / 0-)

      Until it inbreeds itself to insignificance.

      Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

      by The Baculum King on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:43:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or You Vote It In As Your US House Rep. (0+ / 0-)

        as the fine citizens of the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota did multiple times.

        "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

        by kerplunk on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 01:27:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  one does not negotiate with terrorists n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kerplunk, ApostleOfCarlin, pgm 01

      The 1% are becoming sociopaths. PERIOD. That wealth is making them sick. Entitled and unanswerable to anyone.Personal responsibility is for the suckers, er, the middle class and poor.. -- cagernaut, 30 October 2013

      by billlaurelMD on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:45:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. We cannot compromise with them. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pgm 01, Villabolo

        To compromise with them is to lose our core principles.

        We have to fight them.

        •  Haigt does not ask us to compromize with Ted Cruz, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kerplunk, billlaurelMD

          but with some better framing, we can keep more of our neighbors from falling into the right-wing orbit.

          Take the catch phrase "Family Values". The 'Pubs own it, which means they can use it as a euphemism for all kinds of discrimination against, women, gays, children, public schools, atheists... whatever they want.

          If Democrats also claimed to be the champions of "Family Values", they could use it to promote, decent wages, maternity leave, public education, good foster care... whatever we want.

          We'd attract more support form low-info voters who just like warm feeling they get from hearing those two words, and we'd force the 'Pubs to put their claim to them on the table and defend it.

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
          he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

          by jjohnjj on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:22:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If you read his stuff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He will also urge that liberals give greater attention to those  elements we score low on, such as purity (sanctity), authority, and in-group (loyalty).

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:16:38 AM PST

  •  This general idea, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, historys mysteries

    especially as unpacked in Chris Mooney's work, is what could have allowed me to take my research on the psychosocial pathology of the Tea Party and the Hysterical Right to an even deeper level, but I was doing political sociology and sociopolitical psychology, not (neuro)psychology. The moment you start talking about physical differences between groups of people, any value judgment — either explicit or implicit — opens you up to being called a eugenicist or a Nazi or something, and the integrity of your work is potentially compromised. I didn't want to open that can of worms.

    Still, I made a great argument for a collective psychosocial pathology of hysteria that operates on a continuum from the micro (individual) to the meso (group, e.g. family, local Tea Party group) to the macro (a voting bloc and, arguably, an entire political party).

    I referred to the Hysterical Right as a consituency of rage because anger didn't do justice to their rabid and irrational (and possibly hard-wired) fear/hatred of anything Other.

    What do we want? Evidence-based change! When do we want it? After peer review!

    by puckmtl on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:59:09 AM PST

  •  Our political divide is really a cultural divide (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, billlaurelMD, nominalize

    Or even an ethnic one, like you have with certain European groups who, from the outside, seem similar.  Think Czecks/Slovaks, Bosnians/Serbs, Germans/Austrians (there are even cultural divides within Germany, i.e. between those living in the former East Germany and the rest of the country), Basques/Spaniards, etc.

    Generally, those still sympathetic to the Republican party are predominantly white, Protestant, and perceive some connection to America's rural past, even if they are smack in the middle of the 'burbs.  I see them everyday walking through my neighborhood north of Denver, with Bush "Miss me yet" bumper stickers on the back of their junked-out pickups.

    Democrats are quite literally everybody else.  The other half of the country.  We are in the process of sifting, with conservative-leaning types moving in droves to the Southern/plains states, as with the recent article in the National Review Supplement--I mean--Time magazine, gleefully proclaiming Texas as the future of America because of all the (white) people moving there, living out their frontier fantasies cheaply.

    •  And, to complete my thought (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH, historys mysteries

      This sifting may precipitate a geographical splite--America seceding from the South--and that might not be a bad thing.

    •  I saw that Time article and was confused (0+ / 0-)

      because I lived in Texas not two years ago, and the future I saw was definitely not so white.  In fact, where I lived (in the DFW area) was the most racially and ethnically diverse place I've ever lived.  The university where I worked was majority-minority and increasingly so (through no design; it just is).  I guess we were talking about different parts of Texas?

      Republicans have tried to repeal the ACA 42 times now, knowing it would fail. That means we have a party full of people who don't learn from repeating the same mistake 42 times.

      by nominalize on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:04:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Michael Lind wrote about this in 2001 (5+ / 0-)

    The bottom line is that the 2 parties in the US have ALWAYS represented the two main tribes - Southern White and Yankee

    The core of the northern party (originally Federalists, Whigs and Republicans, and now Democrats) has been citizens of New England and the "greater New England" region settled by the descendants of colonial-era New Englanders, an enormous area which includes the great lakes, the upper prairie and the Pacific north-west. The culture of these "Yankees" originated in 17th-century English Puritanism. Its legacy remains in a distinct New England Yankee culture which values moral rectitude and social reform.

    The historic rivals to the greater New England Yankees in US politics have been the coastal southerners of Virginia, South Carolina, and the Gulf coast region, which they settled from the Florida panhandle to east Texas. Royalist refugees from Cromwell's Puritan dictatorship--the so-called "Cavaliers"--created a hierarchical, traditional, aristocratic society based on a plantation economy. They have always dominated the southern party (originally Jeffersonian Republicans, then Jacksonian and Rooseveltian Democrats, and now Republicans).

    Both needed allies -  The southern party allied with Catholics, the Northern party with blacks.

    Starting in 1968, the Republican "southern strategy" was aimed at flipping the parties, but the key to their holding the majority (through the Reagan years) was holding on to enough of the Yankee vote AND bringing the Catholics over as well (these are the classic "Reagan Democrats"

    The problem for the Republicans is that the Yankees have pretty much all flipped to Democrats, Blacks flipped to Democrat, and Catholics never fully flipped to Republican (they tried, but couldn't make it happen)  At the same time a new tribe (Hispanic) grew significantly.

    The result is that the southern party (now Republican) has no allies - are getting backed into a corner, and losing their power.  Hence their reactions grow stranger and stranger

    •  Yankeedom is where it's at for Hispanics (0+ / 0-)

      --myself included, especially for Catholics or those who ditched religion altogether (again, like myself).  Those Hispanics who get into charismatic Protestantism will go with the Southern tribe.  But, like Cruz or Rubio, they will always serve as disposable tokens/novelties and generally occupy a lower rung in the Southern hierarchy, the same as with conservative blacks (all five or six of them).

  •  Just want to say this is my brother, y'all! And I (4+ / 0-)

    am proud of him, even though on some things I disagree with him vehemently.

    Always proud to see his work regarded as important.

    Thank you!!

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 01:21:58 PM PST

    •  I've gotten the impression (0+ / 0-)

      ... that you prefer not to write about the specifics of your disagreement here ?

      •  Well in some past comments I think I noted that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GrumpyOldGeek, Catte Nappe, etbnc

        I do not agree with him about his moral foundations theory that liberals are "less moral" or have "fewer moral foundations" than do conservatives.  We agree to disagree on that.  However, I understand what he means by this within the framework of his research.  

        I also have seen how he has, over the past year or so, become clearer about what he means by "conservative", and has sharply criticized the current Republican party.  I welcomed that development.

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:19:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I never took his view as pejorative (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, nominalize

          He views conservatives as having five basic moral foundations, liberals as two.  That does not make the three disputed ones right!

          Ingroup creates tribalism. It probably has survival benefits, especially in hostile environments, but it also leads to war.  Good or bad?  Matter of opinion.

          Authority/hierarchy is the opposite of the "American Dream"!  It's the idea that you're born to a place and should not try to become something else.  This is nice if you're the thane or king... but it stunts the growth of society as much as it stunts the hopes of individuals.  The key word here is "uppity", an adjective that is meaningful to adherents of this value, and utterly absurd to liberals and those who believe in mobility.

          Purity is where religious organizations divide their members from others.  As a Jew myself, I do not observe kashrut, our own version of this, but I recognize that it serves to promote ingroup (including endogamy) and some degree of cohesion.  Christianists mostly focus here on sexual matters, like their hating the gay.  To me their "morality" is itself an evil.

          So I have no problem with Haidt's position and I've cited him in my own diaries.  He's just now trying less hard to be objective/scientific and is insightfully explaining how the divide is playing out.

          •  Authority is also what led to birtherism (0+ / 0-)

            Conservatives highly value authority.  But they don't want to respect the authority of a liberal (or black) president.  So what do they do?  Try to delegitimize that authority--- it isn't the real authority, they think, so I have no qualms not obeying it.  

            Republicans have tried to repeal the ACA 42 times now, knowing it would fail. That means we have a party full of people who don't learn from repeating the same mistake 42 times.

            by nominalize on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:07:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, and nicely done (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Very diplomatic. I suspect your invitation to the next family gathering is probably safe.  :)


  •  Another way to put the Harm measurement... (0+ / 0-)

    The conservatives and libertarians are more psychopathic.

  •  The tea baggers are the Republican Party. (0+ / 0-)

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