Sunday, September 14, 2008

Republicans or Democrats? What Europeans want...

'What makes people vote Republican? Why in particular do working class and rural Americans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany's best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer "moral clarity"—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.'

(VJK: the bolding is mine...)

Interesting article. In a recent discussion I had with a friend in New York he mentioned that we, Europeans, love Clinton and in general prefer Democrats above Republicans. I know JFK and Jackie were the darlings of many Europeans and that Europeans didn't quite like Nixon, Reagan and the Bush clan whatsoever. I wonder though, is that so that Europeans don't really like Republicans or is it that they despise just the Republican Presidents in living memory? For various reasons, that is. And they wouldn't care less about Clinton's sexual escapades, on the contrary, as Europeans are indifferent to their leaders being sexually 'versatile' (remember the famous Mitterand-ism : Et allors?).

Most modern Europeans are pacifists and despise war; they had to find out the hard way, suffering two World Wars in less than half a century. Therefore, we can't reasonably reconcile the US negativity towards publicly made known sexual escapades of US political icons with the US tolerance of gun trade and of all sorts of weaponry. And why yet so many states still keep death sentence alive and well. We, Europeans, live more on the premise 'Make Sex, not War'.

If the author of that Edge article is right, then the conclusion he's leading to is that the average US citizen is someone who despises change, looks for sacred values to lean on and is afraid of death, which incidentally could explain why most Americans, especially in rural US, are so actively religious and patriotic. How about us, Europeans then? Well, I guess, we have grown beyond that level. Lack of a common language and culture, two World Wars, and the 'weight' of Communism and Socialism on most of our national political parties in charge (BTW, many ex-Communists joined Green parties nowadays - a simple change of color), make that we appear to be 'a hell of a lot more sophisticated' than average Americans (a lot more complex as the article suggests the Liberals of being); as such we end up supporting them Democrats above Republicans...

I am still having an unanswered question though. If the Big Capital in the US is Republican, how come then these otherwise smart people, often self-made billionaires, come to support a party of 'simple minds'? Is this not unnatural to them? Or is it because they think their hard earned money is safer with a party that protects wealth from taxes and any commie influences? It must be that... The problem with both these US parties is that they themselves are too predictable, conservative and carry the same attributes for decades. As long as Americans maintain the current educational system and allow media (especially TV) to act the way they do there is no hope for real change. Actually the majority of Americans today get a state of mind largely influenced by an Aussie media mogul... how about that?

Who can tell?

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