Emotion and Politics

I have a theory that I’ve entertained for quite some time. I even considered writing a book about it at one point, but decided against it when all I could find on the topic were psychological treatises (a bit over my grade level). Works/writings by the average layperson were next to non-existent, although Michael Shermer did offer some input in The Believing Brain — but it simply wasn’t enough.

So what is this earth-shattering theory?

It’s my contention that those who follow the conservative/Republican point of view tend to be very deeply emotional individuals.

As many have expressed here and elsewhere, whenever the subject of Trump and/or his policies has arisen in a conversation, the discussion often devolves into little more than insults and verbal abuse from the Trump supporter.

(Regrettably, on occasion, these exchanges have resulted in lost or strained friendships and/or damaged family relationships.)

However, as many will attest, such incidents are not limited just to the topic of Trump. Discussions that include Democratic vs. Republican points of view frequently devolve into angry words and name-calling as well. Even in my own household, I find I must avoid any type of political discussion since we are on opposite sides of the fence and it can get “emotional” (on his side) quite rapidly.

Online social media has become a breeding ground for such reactions. And things get especially intense among those who are prone to conspiracy theories.

As I said at the beginning, this is strictly a personal theory based on my own experiences and observations. I cannot authenticate it with reams of psychological papers and writings.

IMPRORTANT NOTE: I am NOT saying that those who lean to the left are guiltless. We all have our breaking point. It just seems (to me) that such emotional reactions prevail among those who support a more conservative point of view. (Some may also see a connection to religious beliefs.)

Your thoughts?

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay