Social media is an interesting psychological phenomenon. On one hand, it allows people to share experiences, thoughts, and ideas. On the other hand, people say things out loud they just shouldn’t say. I travel around a number of different Facebook groups, and it’s interesting to observe different discussions.
Everyone has biases. It’s part of the human experience. Oftentimes, they exist to protect a belief. Too many Americans see each other as the “bad” person who’s on the wrong side of an issue. It leads to people talking only in their echo chambers where they feel safe. For a few months, the Left has relentlessly attacked Georgia Senate candidate Hershal Walker (R-GA) over abortion. I’m not writing about what he did or did not do, instead, I want to ask a very pointed question…
Why Do Everyday Voters Ignore Their Biases?
Over the last several days, a narrative has cropped up among Democrats that I find fascinating. Frankly, it’s not new. It’s the same question people asked after voters elected Donald Trump in 2016. It goes like this…
“How could Republicans vote for an immoral person? They are only interested in winning the Senate and securing power.”
First, I would not deny that’s a fair question. In an evenly divided country where the extreme of one party wants to upend society, economics, and government, conservative voters who feel threatened will back candidates who promise to fight back. When something large is at stake, some voters don’t care about issues not important to them and will want someone they perceive strong enough to preserve their way of living.
Are Democrats any different?
Don’t they do the same thing?
Of course, they do, but personal biases prevent people from admitting reality.
The 1990s heralded the arrival of postmodernism and moral relativism. President Bill Clinton accepted a sexual act from a young female intern near the Oval Office. In one statement, he tried to redefine sex when he said he “did not have sexual relations with that woman.” In the business world, a male leader would be fired for using his position of power, regardless of whether the act was consensual or not. Still, Democrats and Democratic voters doubled down and protected the former president.
Fast forward, the Democratic Party says it detests corruption. Yet, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said House members should be allowed to participate in the stock market. The problem is they use inside information as lawmakers to trade stocks and build massive wealth off their public service. There is a book that details how they do it, and I admit it’s not an issue that’s not limited to Democrats. Yet, Pelosi has been the master at this game, and few have become richer off their public service.
The Hershel Walker example exposes a few things in modern politics:
- Voters are using fear-based emotional thinking. In this case, Democrats exposed a threat to them that could become a reality. It’s no different than those who back Walker under the pretense they believe he’s best suited to protect them from the Left.
- Bias is a powerful tool. Until someone admits what theirs is, a genuine and respectful conversation cannot happen between individuals who don’t see eye-to-eye.
- Politicians, campaign strategists, and the media play with voters like they are putty. They employ psychological tricks that trap people into attacking their political adversaries without half-truths or flat-out lies. It ruins discourse, civility, and the opportunity to objectively debate differences. The result is politicians win, and America loses.
History shows an example of how to handle this moment in time. During meetings of the Continental Congress, John Adams often dressed down his adversaries. He was known to be a highly emotional person. It resulted in those he needed the most, sometimes spiting him because of his brash, overbearing personality. Adams once asked Benjamin Franklin if he believed in saying what he thought. Franklin expounded wisdom much needed today.
I encourage you to watch this short 1-minute, 35-second video clip from the HBO miniseries. There’s a lesson for us all in it.
There is a solution to this problem.
First, voters must have a framework to guide their emotions. It doesn’t matter if one is conservative, moderate, or independent. Most discussions I have with people on both sides of the fence are emotion-based. Yet, if I ask a few questions and push people to think, many realize they don’t know why they logically have such strong feelings.
So, it’s worth asking…
What is conservatism?
What is liberalism?
What are the philosophical and legal underpinnings of each one?
How do the two views result in policies that help or hurt Americans?
I have spent 20 years studying liberalism and conservatism. I’ve engaged with voters on both sides, running congressional campaigns and serving as an elected official in local office. We live in a soundbite society devoid of real debate or understanding of the issues. We know what we’re fed but not what we are consuming.
I hope to help solve that problem.
Over time, I hope to show you the contrasts between conservatism and liberalism. You may agree with some things and not others. I’m on the journey with you. Together, let’s dig a little deeper and gain insight into the differences between the Left and Right. I’ll show you when conservatives go astray and unapologetically push back the Left when it goes too far.
I’ll share my bias with you – I believe conservatism is the best means to improve the human condition and create opportunities so that people can find fulfillment and meaning in their lives.
So, I hope you’ll join me for the long term.
We have a lot to learn together!
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