Accept. Reject. Or Learn.


In a recent post, I suggested visitors read a referenced study related to mask wearing (particularly cloth masks) during the COVID-19 pandemic. While most everyone who commented supported the overall wearing of masks, several immediately spoke out against the source of the study since it originated within a group known for extreme conservative views.

Such instant and biased reactions made me wonder … how many even took the time to read the study? Did their prejudices against its origin prevent them from even opening the document?

And my questions aren’t limited to the blog post. How often are articles and news reports rejected simply because the content writer supports an opposite view from our own?

When it comes to politics, I admit I lean Progressive. However, I don’t outwardly reject everything that has the “Conservative” tag attached to it. Over time, I have found there are some (albeit few 🙂) principles within their dogmas that do have merit. I simply try to use good common sense and wisdom to separate the good from the bad. The important point here is … I’m willing to study and discuss.

It is no different from participating in religious discussions. Some will immediately reject any claims made by a non-believer, basing their objections on preformed beliefs and ideas. (Of course, the opposite is true as well.) Yet if one approaches the conversation with at least somewhat of an open mind, oftentimes a fruitful give-and-take dialogue can result. This doesn’t necessary mean that either party will change their core views, but it can allow for new insights and learning. 

For many of us, the years when we marched and waved banners and protested against social and political issues are long past. Now we use our nimble (?) fingers on computers and tablets and phones to share our viewpoints. And by doing so, although we open the door to those who may disagree, the difference is we can share our opinions and knowledge and, if we keep our minds open, we can learn from each other as well.
Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

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