Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Unconscious Reactions Separate Liberals and Conservatives

For some time, I have largely regarded ideological conflict as a conflict between what I have called “psychological tribes” featuring groups of people with different personality types and psychological makeups, with these personality differences probably being rooted in genetics. In order words, people are genetically predisposed to have certain political positions.

By Emily Laber-Warren

Scientific American

BLUE STATE, red state. Big government, big business. Gay rights, fetal rights. The United States is riven by the politics of extremes. To paraphrase humor columnist Dave Barry, Republicans think of Democrats as godless, unpatriotic, Volvo-driving, France-loving, elitist latte guzzlers, whereas Democrats dismiss Republicans as ignorant, NASCAR-obsessed, gun-fondling religious fanatics. An exaggeration, for sure, but the reality is still pretty stark. Congress is in a perpetual stalemate because of the two parties’ inability to find middle ground on practically anything.


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