Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are…Conservative By Chris Mooney, Mother Jones, Jul. 15, 2014 Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today, it’s becoming hard not to…A large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology, and even traits like physiology and genetics….It is a “virtually inescapable conclusion” that the “cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different.”… political conservatives have a “negativity bias,” meaning that they are physiologically more attuned to negative (threatening, disgusting) stimuli in their environments… the conservative ideology, and especially one of its major facets—centered on a strong military, tough law enforcement, resistance to immigration, widespread availability of guns—would seem well tailored for an underlying, threat-oriented biology…Granted, there are still many issues yet to be worked out in the science of ideology…All of this matters, of course, because we still operate in politics and in media as if minds can be changed by the best honed arguments, the most compelling facts. And yet if our political opponents are simply perceiving the world differently, that idea starts to crumble. Out of the rubble just might arise a better way of acting in politics that leads to less dysfunction and less gridlock…thanks to science.
The Conservative Psyche: How Ordinary People Come to Embrace the Cruelty of Paul Ryan and Other Right-Wingers By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, August 14, 2012
Diagnosing Paul Ryan’s Psychopathy: Arrogant, Manipulative, Deceitful, Remorseless By Paul Rosenberg, Salon posted on Alternet.org, May 5, 2014
Conservatives, Evil and Psychopathy: Science Makes the Link! By Paul Rosenberg, Salon, posted on Alternet.org May 1, 2014
Where are the compassionate conservatives? By Eugene Robinson Opinion writer September 15, 2011 Government is more than a machine for collecting and spending money, more than an instrument of war, a book of laws or a shield to guarantee and protect individual rights. Government is also an expression of our collective values and aspirations. There’s a reason the Constitution begins “We the people . . .” rather than “We the unconnected individuals who couldn’t care less about one another . . . .” I believe the Republican candidates’ pinched, crabby view of government’s nature and role is immoral. I believe the fact that poverty has risen sharply over the past decade — as shown by new census data — while the richest Americans have seen their incomes soar is unacceptable. I believe that writing off whole classes of citizens — the long-term unemployed whose skills are becoming out of date, thousands of former offenders who have paid their debt to society, millions of low-income youth ill-served by inadequate schools — is unconscionable.
Why Right-Wingers Think the Way They Do: The Fascinating Psychological Origins of Political Ideology By Chris Mooney, The Washington Monthly, April 28, 2014
Family values hypocrisy By E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, December 15, 2014 …Our current discussion of what constitutes “freedom” is shaped far too much by a deeply flawed right-wing notion that every action by government is a threat to personal liberty and that the one and only priority of those who care about keeping people free is for government to do less than it does. This perspective ignores the many ways over the course of our history in which government has expanded the autonomy of our citizens. Consider how much less freedom so many of us would have without civil rights or voting rights laws, without government student loans, without labor laws, without public schools and without Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. (And we don’t take seriously enough the implications of a most basic fact of our national story: that it took big government in Washington to outlaw slavery.)…we need to think more about “positive liberty,” the ability to realize certain goals in our lives. Democratic government can create the framework in which we have more power to reach those ends…
How the Conservative Worldview Quashes Critical Thinking — and What That Means For Our Kids’ Future By Sara Robinson, AlterNet, May 18, 2012
The real conservative scandal By E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, November 13, 2011…the problem for conservatives. Their movement has been overtaken by a quite literally mindless opposition to government… This is a long way from the conservatism I used to respect. Although I often disagreed with conservatives, I admired their prudence, their affection for tradition and their understanding that the intricate bonds of community are established with great difficulty over time and not easy to reweave once they are torn asunder. At their best, conservatives forced us to think harder. Now, many in the ranks seem to have decided that hard and nuanced thinking is a telltale sign of liberalism…that so many other members of a movement theoretically devoted to traditional values on sexual matters would eagerly jump into this mess on Cain’s side speaks volumes about its condition. To paraphrase Bennett from another context, where’s the outrage about a conservatism that is losing both its intellectual moorings and its moral compass?