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Scoot Blog: Are you politically brainwashed?

If you are a staunch Republican or a staunch Democrat, you may be brainwashed if you agree with your party’s position on every political and social issues.
All Democrats do not support the Democratic Party’s position on gun control and every Republican does not agree with the Republican Party’s stance on same-sex marriage.
A new FOX News poll shows that 14% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents do not support their party’s position on gun control and 14% disagree with the party’s stance on health care.
The same poll shows that 15% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents do not support the Republican Party’s position on abortion and 10% disagree with the party’s position on gay marriage, health care and taxes.
Overall, a majority of Democrats (51%) and a majority of Republicans (55%) say they agree with their party on “many” issues – but not all. Republicans were less likely than Democrats to agree with “all” of their party’s position on political and social issues.
Membership in the ‘club’ of either extreme conservatives or extreme liberals requires adherence to a myopic view of political and social issues.  It should not be surprising that only a small percentage of republicans and democrats support all of their party’s ideology.
From my perspective as a radio talk show host, I have noticed, particularly over the past few years, that some listeners are desperate to define a radio host as liberal or conservative.  Yet, most of America is not strictly liberal or conservative. 
Since the nature of media forces the focus to be on society’s extremes, it is the ‘far right’ or ‘far left’ that consistently receive attention that is disproportionate to their actual percentage of the population. And there are many in the media who disregard the fact that America is not ruled by the ‘far right’ or the ‘far left’ in order to assume the path of least cerebral resistance. 
Condemnation of any American who does not subscribe to the rigid ideology of either party can be traced to an insecure mind that survives by clinging to a group mentality.
In his book, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion,” author Jonathan Haidt quotes political scientist Don Kinder, “In matters of public opinion, citizens seem to be asking themselves not ‘What’s in it for me?’ but rather ‘What’s in it for my group?’” Haidt writes, “People care about their groups, whether those be racial, regional, religious, or political.” 
Opinions on political and social issues are formed more by alignment with a group or party than with the self-interest of an individual.
If you find yourself never deviating from a strict party line all the time – you are probably brainwashed and might consider cultivating a mind of your own! Dare to become a radical moderate!

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People : Don KinderJonathan Haidt

02/18/2013 8:41AM
Scoot Blog: Are you political brainwashed?
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