So the election is done, and a lot of liberals (okay, ALL of them) are sitting here wondering how it happened, and how to do we move forward.
I think some of the answers lie in moral psychology – and the work of Dr. Jonathan Haidt.
In order to build up the new Democratic party – we are going to have to gain a better understanding of what makes both conservatives and liberals’ brains tick and how they respond to stimuli. Dr. Haidt has done much work on illustrating the six moral pillars in our personalities – and how liberals favor some very highly and some very low, and conservatives favor most about evenly. This is sure to shock liberals who really have never given this much thought, but please read on.
I’ve been following Dr. Haidt’s work for a while, since I first came across a TED talk he did back in 2008. The talk details the moral pillars and how they affect our decision making. Later I read his book – The Righteous Mind – Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. It’s dry – but it is indeed more like a psychology textbook, presenting evidence and drawing conclusions from it.
This cartoon humorously details how conservative and liberal brains – wired a certain way from birth – and then nurtured due to that wiring, come to be.
There are two pieces to moral psychology – the notion that we are to a certain point born with a “first draft” brain, and then that our upbringing both writes along those guidelines and rewrites through our experiences.
So – where does that leave us now? If we start to understand the brains of conservatives and their moral pillars – we can more accurately predict their voting tendencies – and what activates them. This piece from Bloomberg attempts to analyze it, and this article takes a look from a conservative perspective.
I’ll leave you with this new TED talk from Dr. Haidt – below. I’m purposely not drawing too many conclusions – merely want to point liberals to some tools to better understand conservatives. I hope all read these, watch them, and start to understand that many conservatives in our country – MANY more than we thought, were ripe for the picking. And not all of them are bad people – they just have different needs based on how their brains are wired.