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?

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Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

For Political News Junkies

I want to urge … nay, implore … every person who is interested in the political news-of-the-day to read Heather Cox Richardson’s “Letters from an American.”

Ms. Richardson is not a “blogger.” She shares her thoughts through a daily newsletter, which can be accessed here, and uses “facts and history to make observations about contemporary American politics.” She includes links to each and every source she references.

Of all the daily political news sources I read, I’ve found this one the most interesting. She often includes information not found in the regular media, plus she adds her own take on things (which I nearly always agree with).

Wikipedia describes Ms. Richardson as an American historian and Professor of History at Boston College.

Added Note: Her primary distribution source is Substack.com (click Free Publications). She also publishes on Facebook and Twitter. You can receive her newsletters through your email as well, but for the life of me, I can’t remember how to sign up! If anyone knows the steps, please share them in Comments.

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Image by Pettycon from Pixabay

Fact? Or Opinion?

From NYTimes Morning Briefing, 11/18/19 (via email):

“Now more than ever, the lines between fact-based reporting and opinionated commentary seem blurred for people,” said Evette Alexander, research director at a journalism foundation. “That means they trust what they are seeing less. They are feeling less informed.”

Details: According to one recent poll, 47 percent of Americans believe it’s difficult to know whether the information they encounter is true. About 60 percent say they regularly see conflicting reports about the same set of facts from different sources.

I think this is a very real problem in today’s political news environment. Unless people take the time — and make the effort — to read or listen to more than one source (even if it’s contrary to personal leanings), they are going to “swear” that what they’ve read or heard is 100% true and accurate.

And I daresay, nearly all of us are guilty. We tend to believe (and agree with) the sources that go along with our personal perspectives.

I admit it’s difficult to enter into the world of diametric information. It can often raise the blood pressure a notch or two. But if we truly want to judge a situation (or individual) without prejudice, it’s important to look at all sides.

As many have expressed, the news sources of today are greatly influenced by corporate dollars, which means they often focus on the events and happenings that will draw in the most readers/listeners. This is all the more reason why we need to consider all sources … even those with “low” ratings.

In one of my recent postings, I encouraged researching various news sources to determine how biased your favorite is. While you’re at it, take a look at the ones you find at the other end of the spectrum from yours. Most likely you won’t agree with their reporting, but it will help you to see and understand why your neighbors/friends/work associates disagree with your political views. And it just might open up an opportunity to share something they weren’t aware of. Perhaps you might even change their viewpoint!

And The Favorite Is …

Were you aware this is National Ice Cream Month? And Sunday, the 15th of July, is National Ice Cream Day! It’s true! Both of these proclamations were made by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. (You can read the entire text here)

Now, for those who participated in my recent blog post related to (yummy) Ice Cream, here are the results according to YouGovOmnibus research.

Are you surprised? Is your favorite listed? (Mine isn’t … I’m addicted to coffee-flavored ice cream!)

Did you know your tastes change as you age? And certain flavors are more predominant among certain genders and race lines? There’s a complete breakdown here (if you’re interested in that sort of thing).

The original article that started this whole thing can be found here.

So now I’m off to enjoy a BIG bowl of Coffee Ice Cream. YUM!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for …

Just read an article about this delicious subject in which it revealed America’s favorite flavor.

The subject was so enticing that I decided to take a break from the usual “heavy” blog topics and focus on something much more fun and “appealing.” 😋

So, the question of the day is …
What’s YOUR Favorite Flavor?

I’ll reveal the results from the article after each of you have had a chance to share.

P.S. No fair guessing what the article said … just tell us what YOU like.
(Besides, you may be surprised.)