CONSERVATIVE-LIBERAL DIFFERENCES? ALL IN OUR HEADS!

In Dumb Things, Influences, Neuroplasticity and Dopamine, Neuroplasticity and Politics, Neuroplasticity and Washington, DC, Neuropolitics, Parenting, Politics, Relationships, Success by DC McGuireLeave a Comment

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What is it that bonds Conservatives to Romney? More precisely, what is it that bonds them together so vehemently against  President Obama?

Conservative friends describe Obama’s policies and personal traits as terrifying.  Their e-mails are angry and rancorous, predicting inevitable financial and moral ruin of the country, the loss of our dominance world-wide, and an urgency about taking back the “real” America.  Progressives fervor is focused on policy issues – equal pay, Choice, healthcare, national defense policy, the environment, and education.

The Right, predictably motivated against individuals and issues, tends to be, ironically, left brain dominate.  The Left, favoring the counter-intuitive right hemisphere of the brain, is likely to be activated by passion for a candidate and legislation.

Left hemisphere thinking is  dominated by the amygdala – home of our Mammalian Brain’s fight or flight/fear response, which rewards fear with its high powered opiate-like brain chemical, dopamine.  The result is a constituency ever on alert for anyone or anything different from them or their tribe, and, consequently, addicted to dopamine.  Receptors flooded with dopamine block pathways to the Human Brain’s executive functions – analyses, planning, innovation, collaboration, emotional regulation, and empathy.  Instantaneously, an unfamiliar face, name, lifestyle, or perspective is interpreted as a threat to the tribe and the status quo.

So let’s see.  How would Barack Hussein Obama be unlike a white person living outside an urban area (which is where Conservatives are most likely to live)?  It doesn’t matter what his politics are;  to a solidly Conservative brain, Obama appears to be so different  that without being able to source the right side of the brain, and the modern Human Brain (prefrontal cortex) for analysis and synthesis, he’s instantly perceived as a threat!  It’s a “we” or “they” world. Middle ground and negotiation are sellouts to the enemy. For left hemispherians, ambiguity is uncomfortable and when it’s expressed, interpreted as weakness.  The mental and emotional comfort zone for lefties (in the brain, that is!) is within black and white guidelines, based on familiar beliefs, as set out by hierarchical authorities.

Fun, but powerful example of how the same question can take  Conservative brain and a Progressive brain in two opposite directions!

Ask the left brain for its definition of God and it will tell you with absolute certainty. “He is the almighty ruler of heaven and earth.  Follow His laws and you spend eternity in Heaven. Break His rules and you’re condemned to eternal Hell.” No further questions necessary!

The right brain’s definition of God is all about speculation and negotiation.  “Well, he/she/it means many things to many people.  How can you really know? What do you think?”

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