Chris Mooney: Can Drinking Make You Conservative?
Posted: 26 March 2012 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Chris’s article in Rolling Stone talks about a study that might indicate that thinking liberally requires more effort than the default position of conservatism. Good read. 

Can Drinking Make You Conservative? (and Other Questions About the Political Brain)

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Posted: 26 March 2012 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Gee, I’d have thought it was just the opposite - that being conservative requires far more thinking effort than being liberal.  It obvously take a great deal more thought to to come up with pseudojustifications for conservative positions.  smile

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Posted: 26 March 2012 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It makes sense to me. Every time I get into a debate with a conservative, they always fall back on “simple” solutions, “common sense” observations and “black and white” choices. Anything involving complex reasoning and nuanced ideas makes their heads go pop.  like they want to boil everything down to a few simple principles and rules that always applies in all situations.

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Posted: 26 March 2012 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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long face  This makes me think of the claim that conservatives are happier than liberals. http://www.livescience.com/7486-conservatives-happier-liberals.html

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Posted: 27 March 2012 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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mid atlantic - 26 March 2012 08:17 PM

long face  This makes me think of the claim that conservatives are happier than liberals. http://www.livescience.com/7486-conservatives-happier-liberals.html

Ignorance is bliss…

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Posted: 27 March 2012 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Having been on both sides of the fence, I can tell you that I am a lot happier on the “left” side.  LOL

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Posted: 27 March 2012 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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1)  How does the alcohol study related to a 2009 study showing that liberals demonstrate greater error in identifying the moral views of conservatives than conservatives demonstrate in identifying the moral views of liberals?
http://faculty.virginia.edu/haidtlab/articles/manuscripts/graham.nosek.submitted.moral-stereotypes-of-libs-and-cons.pub601.pdf

2)  There’s an intriguing overlap between part of the alcohol study that Mooney highlights and part of Tim Groseclose’s arguments in “Left Turn:  How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.”

This is the type of study where the critic should have available the list of questions used to distinguish conservative thought from its counterpart.

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Posted: 27 March 2012 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Bryan - 27 March 2012 12:24 PM

1)  How does the alcohol study related to a 2009 study showing that liberals demonstrate greater error in identifying the moral views of conservatives than conservatives demonstrate in identifying the moral views of liberals?
http://faculty.virginia.edu/haidtlab/articles/manuscripts/graham.nosek.submitted.moral-stereotypes-of-libs-and-cons.pub601.pdf

2)  There’s an intriguing overlap between part of the alcohol study that Mooney highlights and part of Tim Groseclose’s arguments in “Left Turn:  How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.”

This is the type of study where the critic should have available the list of questions used to distinguish conservative thought from its counterpart.

I can’t comment on 2 since I have not read Left Turn, but I agree with the rest of your post. The Virginia paper is interesting and believable. I think we get into trouble when we stereotype any group. I have tongue-in-cheek when I glibly state that ignorance is bliss. It’s easy to do however when those candidates looking to lead a group are such imbeciles and media like FOX news, Rush, and others show so much bias. I know that there are some very bright people who are Republicans. I wish they could be heard over the fear mongering politic and a universal hatred of Obama (many of whom still believe he is a Muslim and don’t have a clue what socialism really is). I would love to see the pre-Reagan pre-Christian Republican party come back. Politics in America is very, very broken.

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Posted: 27 March 2012 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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traveler - 27 March 2012 01:18 PM

I can’t comment on 2 since I have not read Left Turn, but I agree with the rest of your post.

I’ll give it away:  Groseclose (in the part of the book I find at least somewhat dubious) that there is a “natural” American mindset significantly to the right of the one created by our interactions with the media.  That can be looked at through at least two different lenses, of course.  Are the media doing ideological brainwashing at some level or is it simply education?  For myself, I’m not sure the concept of a natural mindset makes sense apart from the matrix in which it develops.  But Groseclose may well be suggesting that media effects alone represent the difference between the “natural” mindset and the one resulting from media effects.  That makes decent sense.

I wish they could be heard over the fear mongering politic and a universal hatred of Obama (many of whom still believe he is a Muslim and don’t have a clue what socialism really is).

Polls appear to indicate that Obama is personally well-liked, even by Republicans.  His policies are significantly less popular.  It’s fair to say many hate his policies, I think.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/most_voters_like_obama_personally_zMgrBCIOHOcxDw9OBCAC7I

I would love to see the pre-Reagan pre-Christian Republican party come back. Politics in America is very, very broken.

I’ll disagree.  The political system works reasonably well.  We just see a bunch of people at either wing frustrated because they can’t impress their policies on the majority.  I think the Constitution was designed to do that.

Where the system really is breaking down, imho, is in exactly those areas where well-intentioned reform increased the powers of direct democracy (increasing tendencies toward mob rule that the Framers tried to check).  The other (related) problem stems from the lack of state government representation at the federal level.  Once upon a time the states selected senators to represent the state government. That was changed by constitutional amendment so that voters selected their senators.  After that happened senators were accountable to state voter majorities instead of accountable to the state government.  That condition has led, in turn, to the ability of the federal government to impose unfunded mandates on the states.

I’ll make another concession to your point:  Politics was easier as a people before we embarked on the experiment of broad multiculturalism.  It’s easier to find political agreement when a people share more in common culturally.  That’s a significant factor in the wider lines of polarization we see today.  I think it’s an open question whether a large constitutional republic can survive multiculturalism.  The cohesion of a nation depends on finding some core things to agree on.

Edit to add:
This Freakonomics site interview will help introduce Groseclose’s research and arguments:
http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/08/08/tim-groseclose-author-of-left-turn-answers-your-questions/

[ Edited: 27 March 2012 02:53 PM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 27 March 2012 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Bryan - 27 March 2012 02:47 PM
traveler - 27 March 2012 01:18 PM

I can’t comment on 2 since I have not read Left Turn, but I agree with the rest of your post.

I’ll give it away:  Groseclose (in the part of the book I find at least somewhat dubious) that there is a “natural” American mindset significantly to the right of the one created by our interactions with the media.  That can be looked at through at least two different lenses, of course.  Are the media doing ideological brainwashing at some level or is it simply education?  For myself, I’m not sure the concept of a natural mindset makes sense apart from the matrix in which it develops.  But Groseclose may well be suggesting that media effects alone represent the difference between the “natural” mindset and the one resulting from media effects.  That makes decent sense.

 

I’m not sure what motivates Groseclose to presume there is a “natural” mindset to the right of the media. Without that, I can’t judge any conclusion.

I wish they could be heard over the fear mongering politic and a universal hatred of Obama (many of whom still believe he is a Muslim and don’t have a clue what socialism really is).

Polls appear to indicate that Obama is personally well-liked, even by Republicans.  His policies are significantly less popular.  It’s fair to say many hate his policies, I think.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/most_voters_like_obama_personally_zMgrBCIOHOcxDw9OBCAC7I

I won’t waste time out-linking you. Suffice it to say that there are plenty of examples showing a widespread Republican hatred of the man.

I would love to see the pre-Reagan pre-Christian Republican party come back. Politics in America is very, very broken.

I’ll disagree.  The political system works reasonably well.  We just see a bunch of people at either wing frustrated because they can’t impress their policies on the majority.  I think the Constitution was designed to do that.

Fair enough. We disagree. Money plays too strong a role in elections - especially now that corporations are people. Christian zealots have hijacked the right, and they also add to the problem of money influencing elections. Compromise is gone. That’s necessary if a political system is to work “reasonably well.”

Where the system really is breaking down, imho, is in exactly those areas where well-intentioned reform increased the powers of direct democracy (increasing tendencies toward mob rule that the Framers tried to check).  The other (related) problem stems from the lack of state government representation at the federal level.  Once upon a time the states selected senators to represent the state government. That was changed by constitutional amendment so that voters selected their senators.  After that happened senators were accountable to state voter majorities instead of accountable to the state government.  That condition has led, in turn, to the ability of the federal government to impose unfunded mandates on the states.

I’ll make another concession to your point:  Politics was easier as a people before we embarked on the experiment of broad multiculturalism.  It’s easier to find political agreement when a people share more in common culturally.  That’s a significant factor in the wider lines of polarization we see today.  I think it’s an open question whether a large constitutional republic can survive multiculturalism.  The cohesion of a nation depends on finding some core things to agree on.

I think there is some truth in both paragraphs. Regarding the second, it’s an experiment that must play out in this new world (which is nothing like it was in the 50’s)

Edit to add:
This Freakonomics site interview will help introduce Groseclose’s research and arguments:
http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/08/08/tim-groseclose-author-of-left-turn-answers-your-questions/

I’ll try to check it out later in order to see what this “natural” American mindset is all about.

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Posted: 29 March 2012 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Bryan;

I’ll make another concession to your point:  Politics was easier as a people before we embarked on the experiment of broad multiculturalism.  It’s easier to find political agreement when a people share more in common culturally.  That’s a significant factor in the wider lines of polarization we see today.  I think it’s an open question whether a large constitutional republic can survive multiculturalism.  The cohesion of a nation depends on finding some core things to agree on.

I strongly disagree.  We had the Indian Wars and the Civil War; No Irish Need Apply, the KKK, Freaking Krauts; Dagoes, Wops, Polocks, Japs, Slants,Spiks,  before multilculturalism.  Without recognitioin that all people are humans and entittled to eqaul rights no true democracy can survive, it needs everyone’s talents.  Nationalism, an advanced form of tribalism that has created much of the violence in the world in the last couple of hundred years..

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Posted: 29 March 2012 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m with Gary. We are experiencing a lot of growing pains as the result of becoming a much more culturally diverse nation. We will learn to deal with it. I’ll take what we have over the single-minded nationalism of Nazi Germany any day.

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Posted: 30 March 2012 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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garythehuman - 29 March 2012 02:11 PM

I strongly disagree.  We had the Indian Wars and the Civil War; No Irish Need Apply, the KKK, Freaking Krauts; Dagoes, Wops, Polocks, Japs, Slants,Spiks,  before multilculturalism.

If you’re going to disagree you should use evidence that supports your point instead of mine.  Think about your examples.  Were the Indian Wars a result of excessive ideological agreement?  No, of course not.  The Civil War?  No.  The North and South had significant cultural (and economic) differences.  The Union was built on things held in common (such as “We hold these truths ...”).  It is the differences that caused the temporary split.  All of your examples, so far as I can tell (correct me if I’m wrong) suffer the same problem.  In each case the tension was created by differences.  The differences were significantly cultural, and in some instances “race” in a sense played a role.

Without recognitioin that all people are humans and entittled to eqaul rights no true democracy can survive, it needs everyone’s talents.

If you accept the dubious talents of those who do not recognize that all people are humans and entitled to equal rights then you’ve got another difference that will lead to fragmentation.  You’re making my point.

Nationalism, an advanced form of tribalism that has created much of the violence in the world in the last couple of hundred years..

But don’t you see that the solution you’re offering is nationalism written globally?  If everyone realizes now that all people are humans and entitled to equal rights then why are there still problems?  And if they don’t agree and that’s the real problem then don’t you see you’re agreeing with me?

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Posted: 31 March 2012 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Bryan:

What I am disagreeing with is your statement: 

Politics was easier as a people before we embarked on the experiment of broad multiculturalism

The examples I used were to demonstrate that politics was not easier.

Were the Indian Wars a result of excessive ideological agreement? 

Very much so,  ask any Am. Indian and what their concepts of land ownership are.

I am not disputing that multi-culturalism is on the rise rise in politics, just the point that it makes politics more difficult.  Now that we have that minor disagreement out of the way I am currently reading Humanity’s Law by Ruti G. Teitel. 

This is a study of the evolution of international law starting with the basic international system that arose from the Treaty of Westphalia where only the relationships between nation-states were recognized as international responsibilities and internal matters of states were treated as solely matters for each state to deal with.  The book outlines how this has changed, particularly since WWII and the Nuremburg Trials, to a still developing system that is much more concerned with individual and minority rights and international responsibility to at least to attempt to provide basic human rights to all humans.

The book is highly legalistic but as far as I have gotten very useful in understanding these developments.  I think you may find it useful also.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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garythehuman - 31 March 2012 09:07 AM

Bryan:

What I am disagreeing with is your statement: 

Politics was easier as a people before we embarked on the experiment of broad multiculturalism

The examples I used were to demonstrate that politics was not easier.

Well, when you put it that way you’re kind of taking me out of context.  You’re be ignoring times in the more recent past when there was less to divide Republican from Democrat and polarization of the parties was radically less than it is today.

Were the Indian Wars a result of excessive ideological agreement? 

Very much so,  ask any Am. Indian and what their concepts of land ownership are.

A differing view of land ownershihp counts as an ideological disagreement, not an ideological agreement.

I am not disputing that multi-culturalism is on the rise rise in politics, just the point that it makes politics more difficult.

Then you may be ignoring the “as a people” part of what I said.

Multiculturalism opens the tent to anything and everything.  It is the opposite of finding common ground.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Bryan:

You’re be ignoring times in the more recent past when there was less to divide Republican from Democrat and polarization of the parties was radically less than it is today.

There is a much different explanation for the polarization of the parties, that I believe is much more accurate.  With the end of the cold war there is no longer a common enemy to cause the two parties to work together.  Without this common enemy the two parties are only concerned with securing power for themselves.

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