Thursday, January 26, 2006

The disconnect between politics and logic

On second thought, I do want to add to the basic news story about the Emory University study that studied brain activity and concluded that emotions, not reason, take over when people are presented with unpleasant facts about their chosen political party - because it explains so many things that have, well, defied reason over the years.

It explains why the same people have different reactions to President Clinton's illegal wars and President Bush's illegal wars, why the same person who defended Clinton bombing Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction is so offended by Bush bombing Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

It explains why the people who joined Clinton in decrying the Reagan years as the "decade of greed" are willing to explain away Clinton's atrocities and crimes by pointing to how well the economy performed in the 1990s, and why people who poohed-poohed Iran-Contra are appalled by the Clinton administration's crimes.

It explains why people believe Congress is full of money-grubbing power mongers but "my" congressman is a hard-working good person who cares about the people.

It even explains why public schools are not graduating kids with the basic tools necessary to survive in the real world, but "my" kids are getting a great education at the local public school.

On third thought, I'm back to my first thought: We needed a scientific study to "find" this? Partisan irrationality has been part of human nature since dirt, and while it's interesting to have scientific proof of it, what's the practical application?

All it does is prove how tough it is to wake people up to the fact that there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two major political parties, and - whoa! - how hard it might be to convince a guy like me when there are differences.

If nothing else, it helps us remain patient. My basic frustration has been in showing both sides of the aisle that when it comes to expanding the federal government's clutches and assaulting our basic freedoms, the major parties are a two-headed snake. It's small comfort to know that folks have simply failed to engage their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, but it helps me live with the contradictions.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home