How did Uncle Bob become a wing nut?

A lot of it comes from a certain personality type (or group of types) and the comfort they receive from having their beliefs reinforced. Creating a false paradigm and reinforcing that false paradigm is a billion dollar industry for the right. There was a neuroscientific study that showed that when we have our beliefs reinforced, we get a little dopamine type chemical release in our brains. Essentially, we are hard wired to be closed minded. This also connects to the whole team/tribe mentality and our desire to belong to an “in” group and collectively hate the “out” group. Again this is hard-wired into us. The conservative personality type tends to attach itself more to these types of leanings. This is all scientifically proven in peer reviewed studies and doesn’t demonstrate any kind of flaw or defect in that type of personality. It simply shows how our brains and personalities have evolved over the ages. The conservative personality type is as vital to maintaining social order as the progressive personality is to exploring and questioning the accepted order. Neither one is better than the other. It’s like being right-handed or left-handed. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side to this…

Understanding these personality types have opened the door to manipulation of a certain demographic of the population. If you want to manipulate a section of the electorate all you really need to do is create a brand (conservative/republican/pro-life) create a reality through persuasive media for that brand (AM talk radio, FOX news, right wing websites) and then use those outlets to build the reality and reinforce that reality. But they are never required to tell the truth. And it gets easier for people to believe the falsehoods, when they have the news network/radio station/columnist of their choosing to reinforce their false beliefs. This works better with the conservative personality type because self-described “liberals” and “progressives” tend to question things more. When a liberal catches a commentator saying something in the face of contradictory evidence, they question the commentator. When a conservative catches a commentator saying something in the face of contradictory evidence, they question the evidence.

So how does all of this fit into the political spectrum? Well, right now we have a political party that essentially functions as a protector of corporations from the will of the public. The democratic party is also infected with these types, but they haven’t embraced it to the extent that the GOP has. These corporatists use this understanding of personality types and media reinforcement to convince their audience that their irrational actions are rational and to vote against their own interests in favor of the corporate elite. That’s where Uncle Bob fits in. He’s essentially fallen victim to the propaganda arm of the corporatist movement. When cults do it, we call it “brainwashed”.

Published in: on 05/05/2011 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  

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