Leftist irrationality

Conservatives are well-used to Leftist irrationality.  If you present a Leftist with some fact that undermines one of his claims, you will get not cool reflection or rational debate but rather rage, abuse and avoidance.  In a face to face situation, the Leftist will actually walk away from you.  So it is clear that, with Leftists, we are dealing with emotions not reason.  They can write whole articles about (say) socialism without for one moment considering the facts about the practical impacts of socialism.

And those of us who can remember it remain quite astounded at the ecstasy among Leftists when Obama won his first Presidential election.  Winning an election is cause for celebration for anyone but the Left really seemed to lose all touch with reality. They really seemed to believe  that Obama's win signalled the time when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal".  Not since King Canute has such a claim been made in politics and even Canute was more level-headed than that. Commentators spoke of "Obamania" and the "Obamessiah".

So we don't really need anyone to tell us that the Left are more emotional than conservatives but it is nice to see it confirmed in a careful set of psychological experiments and surveys.  The abstract below:

Are Leftists More Emotion-Driven Than Rightists? The Interactive Influence of Ideology and Emotions on Support for Policies

By Ruthie Pliskin et al.


Although emotions and ideology are important factors guiding policy support in conflict, their interactive influence remains unclear. Based on prior findings that ideological leftists’ beliefs are more susceptible to change than rightists’ beliefs, we tested a somewhat counterintuitive extension that leftists would be more susceptible to influence by their emotional reactions than rightists. In three laboratory studies, inducing positive and negative emotions affected Jewish–Israeli leftists’, but not rightists’, support for conciliatory policies toward an adversarial (Studies 1 and 3) and a non-adversarial (Study 2) outgroup. Three additional field studies showed that positive and negative emotions were related to leftists’, but not rightists’, policy support in positive as well as highly negative conflict-related contexts, among both Jewish (Studies 4 and 5) and Palestinian (Study 6) citizens of Israel. Across different conflicts, emotions, conflict-related contexts, and even populations, leftists’ policy support changed in accordance with emotional reactions more than rightists’ policy support.


A more detailed summary HERE

The authors looked at emotion generally but I have always argued that anger/rage/hate is the dominant emotion among Leftists.  The authors above added in anger to their study more or less as an afterthought but did find that anger was a particularly powerful motivator among Leftists.

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