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Sun Dec 7, 2014, 12:57 PM

Would the conservative brain respond to populist messages about Wall Street villains?

How Conservative Brains Are Wired Differently and What This Means for Our Politics

December 4, 2014 AlterNet / By David Atkins



Snip> But by far the biggest and most often-studied difference between the conservative and liberal brain is their response to stimuli invoking fear and disgust. Conservatives tend to react much more viscerally to negative stimuli than do liberals, and they are likelier to interpret new information as having a negative or dangerous effect on their lives.

Snip> An economic populist approach has the advantage of being right on policy and on politics. The aspirational liberalism championed by President Obama is destined to disappoint in an era of rampant political obstruction designed to deflate hope and blockade real change. The rhetoric of the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party, by contrast, is unafraid to make sharp contrasts and define villains. The instinct of the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party is to pretend that there are no villains in the economy, only temporary obstacles to inclusive growth; the instinct of the more economic populist elements is to clearly define the perpetrators of the decline of the middle class. Their very "divisiveness" is what allows voters motivated more by anger and fight-or-flight instincts to identify with political warriors who will solve problems by taking down the real bad guys.

Snip>FDR provides a working historical precedent for this approach. While his administration did admonish directly against fear itself, it also pulled no punches in channeling the anger of dispossessed Americans toward the plutocrats who opposed him in ways that are strikingly sharp in tone to a modern ear, but find echoes in the language of combative moral authority we typically only see from conservatives today. Consider FDR's 1936 Madison Square Garden speech, and how little in common it has with the neoliberal rhetoric of modern Democrats:


Snip> That was a speech designed not for the more rational parts of the brain, but straight for the amygdala, the so-called "lizard brain." FDR used rhetoric like this in combination with aspirational speeches to build a large and broad coalition that appealed to Americans across the aisle.

Snip> In short, it will be easier to convince conservative-leaning brains that Wall Street plutocrats are more to be feared than minorities or empowered women, than to convince them that there are no enemies to be feared at all.

Full article: http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-conservative-brains-are-wired-differently-and-what-means-our-politics?page=0%2C1

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Reply Would the conservative brain respond to populist messages about Wall Street villains? (Original post)
Quixote1818 Dec 2014 OP
truebluegreen Dec 2014 #1
Thinkingabout Dec 2014 #2
sadoldgirl Dec 2014 #3
RunInCircles Dec 2014 #7
99Forever Dec 2014 #4
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2014 #5
99Forever Dec 2014 #6
Populist_Prole Dec 2014 #8
Ykcutnek Dec 2014 #9

Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:00 PM

1. Certainly worth a try.

 

Berating conservatives for being stupid enough to fear the wrong things isn't a winning game. If they are going to be afraid regardless, far better to focus on something real.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:05 PM

2. This is a Democrat site, we probably dont have many conseratives here except for

Trollers. You may be able to get a response from American Family type sites.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:06 PM

3. I may be totally wrong, but

I thought that the Tea party's beginnings were grounded in their
hatred of the bailout. That was, of course, before the Koch brothers
started to use them.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:20 PM

7. Tea Party concern was that somebody else might get something I don't get

I was actually watching CNBC on the day of Santelli's Rant. It wasn't the bailout but the thought that some poor struggling home owner might get their principle written down that set Santelli off. 4 Trillion for banks he could live with that! several 100 million for a million somebody's that are not him fury beyond words! They must suffer so he can feel smug and superior!

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:12 PM

4. Who cares if conservatives get it or not?

Why should that even be a concern? Do the right things BECAUSE they are the right things, not because some dumbass pundit thinks it will keep or put his team in power.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:14 PM

5. Democrats are afraid to be populists because they think the message will only appeal to the fringe.

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:18 PM

6. I don't necessarilly believe that "fear" is the reason.

Unless you mean fearing that they might lose their place at the trough.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 02:15 PM

8. Excellent OP, and thanks for the link

Bookmarked for later reading and also future reference.

In some people I talk to I see real possibilities here, but I'm also dismayed by how much tribalism and partisanship is an obstacle. I mean, I can connect with people who agree 100 percent that the issue is more up/down ( class ) than left/right, but it's hard to 'set the hook" as it were. They are seem reluctant to abandon their "team", or worse, side with ours. You get a lot of "You're right, BUT....." from them.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 02:26 PM

9. No.

 

They trust corporate power more than government power.

Venture over to some of their sites and read what they have to say about preserving Net Neutrality.

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