Republicans: Motivated by Fear

March 11, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More

Randa Morris of Addicting Information examines the root of modern right wing ideology:

We know that conservatives respond strongly to negative stimuli. We know that they are motivated by fear, or what researchers describe as ‘perceived threats’. We know that conservatives are often deeply insecure. Hibbings research also suggests that conservatives view themselves as part of a small group, and that they perceive those outside of the group as a threat to the well being of the group itself. That knowledge goes a long way toward explaining conservatives attitudes toward immigration as well as their hatred of minorities, non Christians and others who fall outside of their elite circle. Going one step further, it seems that there is a belief that everyone outside of the group is a threat to the group itself.

One thing we still don’t know is whether conservatives are born with these tendencies or whether they learn them throughout life. Is it nature or nurture? One thing is for sure, those at the top of the right wing food chain know very well how to exploit their base through fear and negativity. The extreme right wing operates very much like a religious cult. The main job of the cult leaders is to keep the members fearful and distrusting of everyone outside of the group, thus ensuring that they can continue to control the message.

I tend to believe that the right wing media is the cause of the underlying psychology that researchers observe in conservative personalities. Logically speaking, how many people would be afraid of absurd conspiracy theories like Agenda 21 or Obamacare death panels or FEMA camps, if the right wing media didn’t disseminate so many lies? The same goes for just about any of things that conservatives fear, from immigrant children to any form of sane gun control, the conservative media keeps these people afraid at all times.

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Category: cognitive biases, Psychology Cognition, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. When you have as your world view a Steady State Universe with a wealth of very specific parameters, you set yourself up for perpetual conflict with the ever changing, evolving outside world.

    Conflicted people of this kind are cannon fodder for demagogues who will happily offer themselves to be the leaders in the conflicts.

    Of course it may backfire when the conflicts are hyped ad extremum, but usually it provides a solid power base for some time.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Planetary – It seem like this dysfunctional political circus has gone on far longer than I could ever have expected, and I keep erroneously thinking that we have hit bottom.

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    Erich, there is no bottom as there is nothing Republicans will not do to serve their corporate, millionaire anmd billionare masters.

    The only way to defeat the continued balkanization and isolation by wealth in America is for states to have a series of ballot intiatives related to stopping corporate actions under Citizens United as suggested in a concurring opinion and to enshrine certain rights like access to health care, access to higher or trade education and to collectively bargain in the workplace into the states’ constitutions where the various Republicans cannot repeal them without another vote by the people.

    I trust the common sense of average folks, even though many of them vote against their own interests each and every time they vote for any Republican (except where the Democrat is just too incompetent or a crook!).

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