Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Republicans make decisions based on tribal affiliation, Democrats decide based on content: Why and an example

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This question came up on Quora:

Liberals hate Trump, but not all Republicans. Why do almost all Republicans and Trump supporters hate all liberals?

My answer:

Conservatives and liberals have different mindsets, as described in this article. Conservatives value loyalty above all (see Conservatives v. Liberals) and as a result are very tribal: intensely loyal to “us” and very much opposed to “them.” Liberals, as you see from the links, don’t value loyalty all that much but instead value fairness and caring.

The result is that conservatives will judge a proposal not on its content but on who proposed it, whereas liberals are not so concerned with who proposed it as with its content. For example, take the idea of the US doing bombing raids in Syria. What that was proposed by Obama, 22% of Republicans supported it; when the same idea was proposed by Trump, 86% of Republicans supported it. (Democratic support was basically unchanged by who proposed it: 37% and 38%.) “Republicans Love the Same Attack on Syria They Hated When Obama Considered It

You see the same thing happening on, for example, cap-and-trade for carbon emissions. Conservatives developed and pushed the idea, but as soon as Obama supported it, conservatives immediately switched to opposing the idea.

So liberals tend to look at content and judge based on that, conservatives look at tribal affiliation and judge based on that.

UPDATE: Good example: “GOP’s message on ObamaCare is us versus them” Note that the GOP leadership is explicitly asking Senators to vote not based on the content of the bill, but based on their affiliation as Republicans. This is as clear an illustration as I could ask.

Written by LeisureGuy

26 June 2017 at 10:10 am

Posted in Congress, GOP

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