We Don’t Just Disagree – the Conservative Mind Works Differently

Eric Alterman prints a piece by Reed Richardson about how journalists do not take into consideration the studies that show conservatives just think differently from the rest of us. If they were to view political debates in that context it might help make things less “he said, she said” or in a word: stupid.

Conservatives, scientific studies show, perceive the political world in a more black and white way, where ideologies engage in zero-sum battles for resources and dominance. But as moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt notes of this worldview: “If you think about politics in a Manichaen way, then compromise is a sin. God and the devil don’t issue many bipartisan proclamations and neither should you.” Time and again, the Beltway media glides right past this basic tenet of conservative thinking only to blame Democrats and Republicans equally when yet another grand bargain that one side never sought in good faith in the first place fails to materialize.


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