Saturday, September 13, 2008

Interesting article

What Makes People Vote Republican? Jonathan Haidt

A very interesting article. Haidt works in moral psychology (a really interesting subdiscipline in philosophy). Here's a bit from the introduction:
Our diagnosis explains away Republican successes while convincing us and our fellow liberals that we hold the moral high ground. Our diagnosis tells us that we have nothing to learn from other ideologies, and it blinds us to what I think is one of the main reasons that so many Americans voted Republican over the last 30 years: they honestly prefer the Republican vision of a moral order to the one offered by Democrats. To see what Democrats have been missing, it helps to take off the halo, step back for a moment, and think about what morality really is.
Go read the article in its entirety.

1 comment:

Nick said...

That article was really mind-opening. Like the author, I tend to lean towards the left and am very weary towards legislating morality/religion/subjective values. But by identifying how people not only vote, but also see the world, through a psychological, historical, and sociological lens, rather than a "rational" one, it is easier to understand this phenomenon. Speaking of "Phenomenon", and linking this comment back to philosophy, his theory reminds me of Heidegger (like that transition?), in that he views one's relation to history and historical consciousness as something intrinsic that effects how we vote, think, and relate to the world. Within this phenomenological, even existential, context, his theory on how moral structures developed and shape different societies and individuals is clearly well supported. Reason, or Rationalization in Continental philosophy, especially Existentialism and Phenomenology, is not stressed as much as accepting the choices humans make and thus feeling "real", which is what I believe the author is saying a lot of these voters do when they vote against their own class or social interests.