General Question

rojo's avatar

What do you think regarding this study of the brain vis-a-vis conservative/liberal persuasions.

Asked by rojo (24169points) March 28th, 2012

This is an older study link but I found it the other day and wondered about it. The first thing that came to my mind was what was the cause and what was the effect; ie were the brain differences caused by the views of the individual or were the views caused by which area of the brain was more developed.
What are your views on the subject?

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71 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

What do I think of a study which attempts to draw conclusions based on a population of 90? Not much.

rojo's avatar

@CaptainHarley Kinda like a busload of lawyers going over a cliff. A start.

Nullo's avatar

Like @CaptainHarley, I doubt the validity of its findings, with such a small sample. I do, however, expect the liberal side of things to find a way to feel smugly superior, or try to patronize, marginalize, or otherwise belittle the conservative side. :D

It’s interesting how the article concludes:
, given that the structure of even the adult brain can be altered with training, it is not clear whether these differences would affect a person’s political choice or vice versa.

So political leaning may be biological, but then it might not be. There has been no net gain beyond establishing a possible correlation, maybe.

I understand that this is how Science works, that a failure to find data can be just as significant as a breakthrough (though for different reasons), but it still feels like bit of a waste of time and other resources.

Thammuz's avatar

@Nullo I do, however, expect the liberal side of things to find a way to feel smugly superior, or try to patronize, marginalize, or otherwise belittle the conservative side. :D

Tsk, as if we needed another excuse to do that. ;-)

vitro's avatar

After reading this study, it pretty much blows holes in your study.

Liberals fail economics 101, Conservatives and Libertarians Score Best

LostInParadise's avatar

@vitro , Those questions are highly loaded. For example, on standard of living, in recent years, the standard of living for wealthy people has gone up considerably, while the poor have done worse and the middle class is being squeezed. I am sure that this influenced people’s responses to the question.

Recently this study caused a bit of a stir. Although my views are definitely left of center, I view these studies with skepticism. I will wait to see if the results can be reproduced by other researchers.

Nullo's avatar

@Thammuz So I haven’t been imagining things!

vitro's avatar

Um, Do you know how poor people lived before? Lol, go look and compare to today.Our poor live better then kings did. Also, in America, the poor are richer than 68% of the world’s inhabitants. Our poor are nearly at the same level as the richest people in India.

jerv's avatar

The one I saw was this one but it has a few telling quotes that actually make it more believable, most notably the last couple of paragraphs that basically warn against reading too much into it.

@Nullo The link I gave notes that because of the way brains work, it’s hard to tell the cause and effect; it’s possible that political beliefs affect brain structure. Also, they admit that the study is incomplete; ”“More work is needed to determine how these brain structures mediate the formation of political attitude.”

@vitro I have to agree that when you ask loaded questions, you get the results you expect, often even when those results don’t match the data collected. But if you want to play that game, I have similar evidence that there is a strong link between Conservativism and low IQ, and that Christians know less about Christianity than non-Christians.
You are correct about our standard of living… mostly. But it’s too early in the thread to go off on a digression about how we are also near the top (and rapidly rising) in economic inequality as well, and the way our healthcare system is set up, that means that life itself is becoming a privilege for the rich.
Suffice it to say that people are prone to confirmation bias.

vitro's avatar

Well if conservatives have a lower IQ then liberals, why did liberals fail economics, and conservatives did not? Either Rojo’s and your low IQ study is incorrect, or mine is. Or it’s all bullshit. Or as you said, confirmation bias.

Nullo's avatar

@jerv Thank you, though I was commenting on the general inconclusiveness of the test.
@vitro Probably a lot of confirmation bias.
@LostInParadise The study you linked does seem awfully convenient, from a partisan-politics perspective. Does a good job of explaining all of the lawyers and engineers at my fundamentalist-enough-for-Baptists church, too.

FutureMemory's avatar

@rojo Kinda like a busload of lawyers going over a cliff. A start.

I wonder when that saying will morph to a busload of conservatives.

I think that would be a good start.

ragingloli's avatar

@vitro
Really funny, especially since they consider the actual correct answers to the last 3 questions as wrong. What a load of bollocks.

“Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited ”.
The article says agreeing with the statement is “unenlightened”. Yet the statement is true. The only reasons people in the west get cheap products is because the people that make them, third world workers, are paid less than shit, without any worker’s rights. It even leads to suicides.

“Free trade leads to unemployment”
Yes it does. Absence of restrictions on imports
1. Leads to more financial incentives for companies to produce in low wage countries and close domestic production facilities. Result: unemployment.
2. Enables foreign companies from low wage countries to drive domestic competitors who are necessarily and unavoidably more expensive, into bankruptcy or to follow suit and manufacture in low wage countries as well. Result: unemployment.
“Minimum wage laws raise unemployment.”
There is no evidence that it does, yet the author treats that statement as absolute and true.

vitro's avatar

Well if you think it’s right, then you should probably start reading this. I hate economics

ragingloli's avatar

@vitro
You see, simplistic quatsch like that, is why economics is a pseudoscience along the lines of homeopathy.

vitro's avatar

Okay, if you want to play it that way…If you think economics is a pseudoscience, then you also have to believe the government shouldn’t be creating policies for the free market, since all the economists who work for the government are pseudo-intellectuals, which means the market should be left in its organic form – free.

jerv's avatar

@Nullo I was addressing both the correlation and the inconclusiveness.

@vitro It isn’t science when you already know the outcome you want and message the methodology and reasoning to make the data fit. Therefore, economics has turned from a science into a religion. Besides, the “horse and sparrow” economics they support were discredited long ago, and proven not to work long before that.
Also note that a free market benefits corrupt shopkeepers more than it does legitimate businessmen, customers , or the government; there is a reason that we don’t follow that optimistically simplistic “Invisible Hand” bullshit. Sure, we have too much restriction in some areas, but by citing that as why we need utter and trusting known predators to act benevolently, you lost all credibility.
Stop preaching and start using reason, logic, and facts (including historical precedent).

Response moderated
vitro's avatar

I’m following your logic and keeping it consistent. You cannot have pseudo-intellectuals in the government creating policies over the market, period. It’s a religion, as you call it. No scientific basis. The end. Either get some legitimate science to backup government policies, or leave the market alone. The rest is conversation.

jerv's avatar

@vitro History is science, at least enough so to prove that leaving the market to it’s own devices is a bad idea. If you want to see where it leads, you don’t even have to look any further than the last decade here in the US. And just because corporate profits and GDP are up that does not mean we have a healthy economy; it sure as hell isn’t a sustainable one.
I agree that some government policies have no basis in fact, logic, or reason, but as I said, citing bad regulation as a reason for deregulation is equally stupid.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Even if a more wide-scale study proved this to be correct. So what? There’s no shame in how your brain was made… :P

jerv's avatar

@Keep_on_running Very true. I’m proud to be not quite right in the head.

rojo's avatar

@Keep_on_running I agree 100%. I just think it is interesting that it is an observable phenomena. I also find it interesting that males/females process data differently. I don’t think one is “better” than the other.

nikipedia's avatar

Deep breath…

@CaptainHarley and @Nullo, I am responding to you before I read the study. I do not know what its conclusions are, so I can promise you both that I am not taking an ideological stance here. These are just facts.

You both referred to the small sample size of the study, stating that it includes 90 people. That is generally not considered a small sample size, and in statistics this is not a matter of opinion. Let me explain why.

Suppose you are a scientist, and you have invented a new drug to treat cancer. You decide to make two groups of patients, one who will get the drug, and one who will not.

At first, you only have 1 person in each group. So you give the drug to 1 person, and it doesn’t work.

Can you conclude from this that the drug doesn’t work? Probably not, because here, the sample size is too small. It can’t tell you anything.

So how many patients do you need to test it on? 2? 20? 200? How do you decide? Just random guessing?

Of course not. There is a statistical technique called a power analysis that lets you decide how many people you need to include in your study. A power analysis has 3 variables. If you put in 2 of them, you can get the third out. The three variables are:

1. Sample size. This is usually the variable you don’t already know, that you use the power analysis to calculate.
2. Alpha level. This is an arbitrary but very important a priori value that you use to decide your level of statistical significance (I can explain more about what that means if you are interested).
3. Effect size. This, in the cancer example, is how well the drug works.

The alpha-level is usually a fixed value (almost always 0.05). So the sample size you need to draw a conclusion goes up or down depending on the effect size.

This means that if you have a very big effect size—your cancer drug works extremely well, or it works extremely NOT well—then you can draw a conclusion with a small sample size.

But if your cancer drug is only a little bit effective (or a little bit ineffective)—then you need a larger sample size in order to draw a conclusion either way.

What this means is that if you can draw a statistically significant conclusion with a small sample size, you have a very large effect. Let me restate that: if a study is saying something conclusive with a small sample size, that means that what the study found is a very big difference between groups.

A small sample size and a positive (statistically significant) finding means the study has more strength and more statistical power. A study has a more meaningful conclusion if it can get there with a small sample size.

So the only time a sample size can be “too small” is when it is “too small” to give any statistically significant results. If a study has a statistically significant result, then by definition the sample was large enough.

vitro's avatar

@jerv

I don’t know what history you’re reading, but the history that I read only shows me that deregulation is the way to go, and government was always the intervening culprit. It’s not just me either, it’s a hefty group of people. But then there is you and your kind that see it differently. The fact that we have different interpretations on history already shows that any policy that is going to be created will be based on perspectives, not on a scientific basis.

Well, as I said, I don’t need the charlatans in government intervening in my life. I never needed them, nor want them.

jerv's avatar

@vitro So, you insist that bad regulation is justification for rural deregulation? That implies that since we have some bad criminal laws on the books, we should dismantle our court system, disband the police, and trust people to do the right thing.

Don’t get me wrong, we need reforms since business is stifled by bad regulation, but your logic for supporting deregulation is fallacious.

fey's avatar

Why no brain analysis on libertarians?

CaptainHarley's avatar

LMAO ( albiet belatedly ) @rojo ! : )

vitro's avatar

Look, here is where we divide. You believe we need pseudo-intellectuals in government to solve some of the markets problems, and I believe whatever problems the market has will be solved by the market, naturally. You put your faith in the few in government, and I put my faith to the people.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@fey

Well said! : ))

CaptainHarley's avatar

IMHO, Liberals are, by and large, egotistical hypocrites. They don’t trust anyone to govern effectively except themselves. They trust neither the marketplace nor the people. They train the people to react like sheep, then try to lead them in directions the Liberals want them to go.

Conservatives aren’t much better. They don’t have trust for the people either, so they want to control the market ( instead of letting it be free ), and, in the US, they want to be the governors of an empire.

A plague on BOTH your houses!

rojo's avatar

@fey Maybe there are no libertarians in England. The other, more humorous answer it just too easy.

Qingu's avatar

@CaptainHarley, well, good for you. You’ve found a way to feel superior to both liberals and conservatives with zero effort and no proposed solutions of your own.

As a liberal, I’d like to defend myself. I don’t trust non-liberals to govern largely because I don’t agree with their policies and worldviews. I think some conservatives (like Bush Sr. and probably Romney) are significantly more competent as governors than others (like Bush Jr.), and competence is an important quality regardless of your political positions. So, for example, I might trust a President Romney or Bush Sr. more than a liberal president who was completely incompetent. That said, it seems like liberal candidates are less inclined towards incompetence in governance than conservatives, since a central plank of conservative ideology is that the government shouldn’t really do much of anything to begin with.

I’m not sure what you mean by “trusting” the market or the people. I don’t have religious faith in either the market or the people to always do the best thing for society. Sometimes the market gyrates out of control. Sometimes people are corrupt or are sociopaths. Sometimes corrupt sociopaths gain control of broad swaths of the market and wield it to enrich themselves at the expense of society. In general, the economy should be directed by the market and government should be directed by people. But I also think the whole purpose of having a government is to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak—which entails regulating the behavior of people, and regulating the behavior of markets.

As for your “sheep” comment, I think you’ll find much more ideological consistency amongst conservatives who parrot Fox News than liberals. Nonpartisans like yourself aren’t much better. Weren’t you the one who copy-and-pasted several counterfactual e-mail chain rants onto Fluther?

Qingu's avatar

@vitro, you are of course entitled to your belief. It just strikes me as similar to believing in a cult. Why do you think the market will magically solve all of its problems? Do you have any evidence that this is how the market works absent regulation? Consider the history of recessions, for instance. I don’t see anything there to suggest the market worked better when it was unregulated. It seems to have worked significantly worse, with recessions occurring much more often, along with widespread bank runs.

I prefer to base my economic beliefs on evidence, not religious faith in a godlike market.

jerv's avatar

@vitro Not quite. You are correct that I place far less faith in people than you do, but both the market and the government are composed of people and therefore, on that basis, are no more trustworthy. However, I feel that chaos and anarchy are more destructive than benign incompetence, and not much better than malevolent corruption.

mazingerz88's avatar

@vitro Whatever problems the market has will be solved by the market naturally? What a hoot.

jerv's avatar

@mazingerz88 If I didn’t know that some things don’t scale properly, I might agree that the market would be able and willing to self-correct. However, this isn’t a bake sale at the local small-town church; this is a huge economy on a scale that was unthinkable a century ago. New situations require new ways to handle things, and the study implies that Conservatives are a bit xenophobic and thus unable to grasp that concept.
By the same token, new does not always mean improved…

vitro's avatar

@Qingu,

There were 16 recessions after the government got involved, including the great depression which was caused by the federal reserve (a supposedly government problem solver) so how how exactly is that solving the problem? “Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.” Ben Bernanke,

Guess what? He did it again in the recession of 08.

The point I’m making is that markets are not always going to progress in a straight upward line forever. There will always be area’s of the market that have problems due to X factor of reasons. You can see this in the stock market. When the price is heavily inflated, like it is now, you get a correction later on. That is when you hear the dow dropping 500 points in one day. That is the market realizing it’s inflated and fixing the problem by returning to the real value. Works the same with the entire market accept that it’s the people who do it through voluntarily negotiations.

The Keynesian/liberal believes that when there is a downtime in the market, they have to create a plan to fix it, rather than letting the customers/employees negotiate with the business men to resolve the problem. The problem is the keynesian/liberals don’t allow the market to solve the problems. They have to immediately intervene. Once that happence you have one problem after another, and the damage becomes a lot harder to reverse.

Economics, if you read through the thread, is a pseudoscience which makes an economist, a pseudo-intellectual.

But I’m not looking to have an economic debate here.

Qingu's avatar

Do small-scale markets like bake scales self-correct? It seems they’d be just as vulnerable to systemic problems like collusion as large economies.

Another example: Paul Krugman wrote about the paradox of thrift made manifest in a babysitting co-op.

Qingu's avatar

@vitro, I don’t believe any system of governance will “solve the problem” of recessions by eliminating them completely. There does appear to be such a thing as a business cycle.

I am simply pointing out that the world seems to be a much better place after government began regulating the economy in the early 1900’s than before. Recessions were significantly more common in the unregulated economy. Bank runs were commonplace. Moreover, the unregulated system seems to have been incredibly vulnerable to shocks caused by the behavior of single companies.

Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?

As for Keynesians and liberals, yes, we believe that the government should get involved during recessions to make them shorter and less painful for economic actors. By the way, conservative monetarists like Milton Friedman also believe this. They just advocate using different tools (monetary policy, rather than fiscal stimulus).

I disagree that economics is a psuedoscience. Economists use models, make predictions, and test them against reality. For example, Keynesian economists predicted mild inflation during the 2008 recession even after the Fed tripled the monetary base, because the recession was characterized by a liquidity trap. This turned out to be true. Keynesian analysis also predicted that “austerity policies” during a liquidity trap would be contractionary, rather than promoting GDP growth. Also true. It’s not a hard science. But it offers useful tools and useful predictions.

Now, Austrian economics is certainly a psuedoscience. Which is why it’s not taught in economics courses.

vitro's avatar

If 16 recessions occurred when the market was heavily regulated, then obviously a deregulated market does not cause recessions. No, I don’t agree that single companies cause recessions.

You don’t have to look to far to see the pseudo-intellectualism in economics. You mentioned Paul Krugman, the champion of Keynesian economics who is the biggest charlatan there is. I’m not going to go through the details, but you can read about his failures here. Paul Krugman

It’s all nonsense. The few who are successful in making a prediction is something called cemetery effect.

Qingu's avatar

I don’t think you understand what I wrote. I’m not asking you if you think unregulated systems cause recessions. I’m asking you whether you agree that recessions, bank runs, and other economic shocks were more common when the system was unregulated.

But maybe I should have just listened to your last post, where you said you aren’t interested in having an economic discussion. After all, you seem more interested in outsourcing your critique of Krugman to the cult of Austrian economics website than in making it yourself.

But if that’s the case, why are you expressing strong opinions about economic topics when you’re not willing to actually discuss or defend them yourself?

vitro's avatar

Only a little more, but I don’t attribute the government to solving that issue.

You were trying to show me how economics is not a pseudoscience with your examples, and I showed you a long history of failures on the champion himself who uses “pseudoscience”. They’re all the same since they use the same methods. They even have live recorded videos of their claims and failures. They’re mainstream because they give the illusion of a better economy in the short run, but long-term they’re annihilated. Basically, time is the biggest proof in exposing Keynesians pseudo-intellectualism.

I’ve defended myself enough. These are long winded topics. It’s too much to write about. It’s nothing new and it’s all available online to read. This is something important to read about which everyone is generally guilty of doing. Survivorship Bias

Qingu's avatar

A little more? They happened almost twice as often. Bank runs happened much more often.

By the way, I have a longstanding policy on Fluther that I debate with people, not with websites. If you’d like to restate an argument you found on the Von Mises Institute, please do so, in your own words. If someone from the Von Mises institute would like to come on Fluther and debate with me, I’d be happy to do so as well. And by all means, if you make claims in your arguments, back them up with hyperlinked sources. But don’t outsource your entire argument to a web page that can’t argue back. I can spend two seconds doing the same thing—so can anyone.

vitro's avatar

No, they didn’t happen twice as often, not even close.

I’m not about to type more then 100 of Paul Krugman’s failures just to prove you wrong, especially when it’s all nicely written up and sourced. I’m sure you heard of the term opportunity cost? What the hell is the point anyway? The likelihood of someone changing their position is slim.

If you’re seriously interested in a debate, or have a certain need of defending your position against those who call you a pseudo-intellectual who subscribes to pseudoscience, then go to mises’s website and argue with the author. They’re openly opposing your kind, so I’m sure you will find the challenges you need their. Obviously you’re not that interested since you haven’t done so already. Another reason why a debate would be pointless.

For the record, prior to the conversation with you, we were talking more philosophical, rather then economical.

jerv's avatar

So, are we back to discussing xenophobia?

The study kind of jibes with my own anecdotal observations. Conservatives seem more generally afraid of change, and less willing to even listen to things that conflict with their views of how the world should be or is. I don’t see many Liberals pining for the old days, or utterly failing to realize that this is the 21st century instead of the 19th.

vitro's avatar

You don’t need a study to tell you that, jerv. It’s in their title, and the title generally represents the mentality. Conservative.

nikipedia's avatar

Can’t we talk about brains? Like the question asked?

jerv's avatar

@vitro There are many studies on stuff that we already know. We also know that brain structure is related to psychological traits. But as other parts of this thread have demonstrated, knowing something you can’t prove is almost as bad as not knowing anything.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@jerv

True about Conservatives being unwilling to change, even when change is needed. But it’s also equally true that Liberals know so much better how our lives should be managed ( i.e. controlled ), the bigger the government, the better we can be controlled.

Qingu's avatar

@CaptainHarley, I think it’s true that liberals know better how to manage society, because liberals tend to be interested in asking those questions and searching for answers to them. Whereas conservatives tend to have faith in gods or—as our friend vitro shows—faith in the market to solve problems without human intervention. They’re more interested in proclaiming their faith to these deities to solve problems instead of trying to solve, or learn approaches for solving, problems themselves.

Just tendencies at least, obviously there are exceptions.

vitro's avatar

No different then your faith in pseudo-intellectuals who think they can solve market problems using pseudoscience.

CaptainHarley's avatar

So Liberals replace God and dictate to the rest of us? Never!

Qingu's avatar

@CaptainHarley, no, liberals replace God with actually trying to solve problems, and if problems can’t be solved liberals at least try to make them better.

It’s not all that different from diseases. People used to think that diseases were caused by demons and that the only thing to do was pray. And if praying didn’t work, then it was just God’s will. Other people started studying diseases, anatomy, statistics of treatments, etc. These people haven’t been able to cure every disease, not by a long shot. But we’ve cured some diseases and even if people still die from cancer, we can at least treat cancer to some extent.

Similarly, conservatives and libertarians believe that the source of all economic problems is government interference and that if we only trusted the Invisible Hand, the market would solve itself (despite the fact that the only place without a government, Somalia, is a hellhole). Meanwhile, liberals and moderates try to understand the causes of economic problems like recessions and financial crises and create solutions or at least treatments for the problems.

vitro's avatar

Incorrect attack at Somalia since it’s in recovery from government collapse. A transition from government to free markets doesn’t become an instant utopia. However, despite the extreme weather conditions they faced, and some shady corporation dumping toxic in their waters, the data shows this transition is progressing greatly. Anarchy in Somalia I’m sure you won’t read it because you need someone to restate it for you in their own words.

This scientific study shows that People Behave Socially and ‘Well’ Even Without Rules

jerv's avatar

@CaptainHarley “But it’s also equally true that Liberals know so much better how our lives should be managed ( i.e. controlled ), the bigger the government, the better we can be controlled.”

I guess that Plain, Santorum, and the like are not Conservatives then. Government meddling in the doctor’s office, the bedroom, the wedding altar, the music store, the printing press… pretty much everywhere.

The difference between Conservatives and Liberals is NOT that one believes in big government and one wants a less intrusive one, but that Conservatives want to intrude on anything that does not involve business and wishes to impose a certain morality whereas Liberals believe that the government has no right to but into certain things but has a duty to intervene in things that are actually causing harm to our nation and it’s people.

So, Conservatives replace tolerance and logic with faith? Not on my watch!

@vitro One way a free market could work is if you disband the RIAA and MPAA along with their efforts at censorship and giving ISPs government total control over the Internet. Of course, that would lead to piracy… or merely forcing the market to adopt new means of making a profit. Overseas, piracy is rampant, but the companies that survive are the ones that provide a desirable product of acceptable quality at a reasonable price. Over here, you have patent trolling, copyright litigation, and a preference to compete in the courtroom instead of the marketplace.

Your first link is unconvincing in it’s incompleteness. Is that increase in GDP actually making it’s way to normal people, or are they doing what we are and only letting those at the top enjoy the rise in prosperity? At best, it’s a first step in an investigation, but by itself, it is total weaksauce. As for the second, it seems that that study was done on a small group of willing participants. How many of them tried to hack the system for their own benefit?

Qingu's avatar

@vitro, please move to Somalia then. I’m sure you’d prefer it to our tyranny of command economy Keynesianism here in America. You can take all your libertarian friends with you, too.

vitro's avatar

@jerv,

Q1: No sure, jerv. I’ll see what I can find.

Q2: That’s a good question, heh. No clue.

@Qingu

Another silly offer since I just said they’re recovering from collapse, so why would I want to be move there when it’s in a state of recovery?

Perhaps you and your Keynesian friends can all move to California which is the liberal utopia you’re striving for, and then just separate yourself from the rest of the country.

ragingloli's avatar

You think that is funny? You probably also believe that Obama is a socialist.

vitro's avatar

Oh, they mention the Trilateral Commission. Aren’t they part of the Illuminati ? Reptilians? Advancing the New-World-Order?

jerv's avatar

@vitro I thought The Gnomes of Zurich were the ones funding the GOP. Then again, it would not surprise me if the Discordians were the ones backing wingnuts in an attempt to discredit Conservatives either. You know how those different factions of The Illuminati are fighting all the time…

Tangentially-related laugh

vitro's avatar

Lol, yep. You’re not too far off. Just ran into this a few days ago. Heard of this? Davos Man

It’s the last title in the link.

Qingu's avatar

I’d love to live in California. Certain parts of it at least. The main problem with the state in my opinion is structural, caused by Saint Reagan: it’s impossible to vote to raise taxes, but easy to vote to raise spending.

GracieT's avatar

@Qingu, but surely you aren’t insinuating that St. Reagan WASN’T a saint. Rip out THY tongue! (I happen to agree with you BTW!). After all, he was an actor! He got by on looks and personality as much as he did on political knowledge and skill.

Nullo's avatar

If right-wingers are more emotional, then why is the Left more known for emotional appeals and “bleeding-heart liberals” and touchy-feely social workers? Or are you all really surgically-altered Vulcans? If so, you’ve been trolling the good people at SETI and ought to go and apologize.

jerv's avatar

@Nullo I think it may be that Right-wingers go more for fear, fear, fear, and fear (with a little hatred thrown in, though much of that hate resulting from fear that grew “naturally”) so they are more blatant due to their focus.

Nullo's avatar

@jerv Everybody has their fears, though. And hatred; indeed, the most vitriolic people that I’ve met tended to be liberal. Though usually only while hating the Right.

Qingu's avatar

I think people have different definitions of vitriolic and hateful. When Pat Robinson for example says gays are Satanic or that Haitians deserved the earthquake because they renounced Christ, that strikes me as more hateful and vitriolic than, you know, calling right-wing Randian policies sociopathic.

Your suggestion, @Nullo, that genocide is acceptable as a form of warfare because certain cultures really should be eradicated, has always struck me as among the most hateful things I’ve ever seen another living human write.

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