The Brain of Democrats & Republicans

Filed in Blog , Federal/State/Local/District 6 Headlines after 8/24/13 0 comments
 February 17, 2017
Inside this issue
Here’s What Science Says About the Brains of Democrats and Republicans

Author: Dylan Goldstein

Back in 1796, George Washington offered the nation some unheeded words of advice: beware of political parties. Despite this recommendation, two forces emerged in America and today the Republican and Democratic parties dominate the political scene, forming a deep partisan divide. But what does this divide say about their supporters? Why do some of us identify as conservatives, and others as liberals? According to some neuroscientists, the answer lies partially in the make up of our brains.

What are the brain differences?

In their search to unlock the mystery surrounding the political brain, researchers are discovering basic structural differences between conservatives and liberals. While it is generally difficult to make a direct link between brain differences and complex behaviors in social or political contexts, these findings give scientists some hints as to how biology may inspire political identity.

First, let’s take a look at the liberal brain. Studies have found that, on average, the brains of liberals have greater volume in a region known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This area has been linked to several functions, including conflict detection, which enables us to regulate our behavior by identifying discrepancies between instinctual, habit-driven impulses and our actual intentions. So whether you’re swerving to dodge a deer that’s abruptly run onto the road, or halting before eating that one rotten grape from the fruit bowl, you can thank your ACC for its conflict detection capabilities.

Beyond its greater size, the ACC of the liberal brain also fires more frequently while detecting these differences between instinct and intention. In a political context, this may enable liberals to approach policy issues with greater sensitivity to when their habitual tendencies are ill suited for addressing the issue at hand.

The conservative brain, on the other hand, has greater volume in a region called the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure implicated in emotional and fear-based learning. In one study, researchers found that when conservatives hear shocking noise stimuli, such as a blast of white noise, they exhibit more fearful instinctual reactions as measured by blink response, an indicator of amygdala activity. These findings have led some to speculate that larger and more sensitive amygdalae in conservatives may cause them to be more driven by fear and emotional rewards.

In another study, researchers investigated the emotional differences between the two groups and found that when faced with risky decision-making, the amygdalae of Republicans fire at a greater rate than those of Democrats. This suggests that Republicans might be relatively more influenced by emotions in their decision-making process. What’s more, a study found that conservatives were aroused to a greater extent than liberals when shown disturbing images, such as those depicting infested wounds. Simply put, it appears that the conservative brain is more sensitive to stimuli that carry emotional weight.

If my political affiliation is hard-wired, can I still switch it?

Well, in short, of course you can switch affiliations. However, people rarely do so, and it does appear that there are some neural obstacles to crossing the aisle. When it comes to politics, people tend to have pretty strong opinions, and aren’t always so receptive to conflicting ideologies.

In one study conducted before the 2004 presidential election, Republican and Democratic participants were asked to judge statements about candidates John Kerry (Democrat) and George W. Bush (Republican). Using neuroimaging techniques, researchers found that certain brain regions activated more than usual while participants viewed information that contradicted their political preferences. The regions firing were those responsible for processing pain, negative emotion, and error detection, suggesting that partisan individuals experienced genuine distress when confronted with opposing ideologies.

Later, participants were given the opportunity to reflect upon the conflicting information, rationalizing and justifying their own points of view. As they did so, their brain scans showed increased activity in an area of the brain called the ventral striatum, which is integral to reward and value processing-the pleasant opportunity to justify one’s own political perspective could be observed at a neural level.

So, conflicting ideologies cause distress, but at least justifying our own beliefs solves the problem, right? Well, this might provide some emotional relief, but it also obstructs our openness to new ideas. These findings highlight some of the neural mechanisms underlying political stubbornness, explaining why many individuals tend to be stuck in their ways when it comes to politics.

In fact, this is especially true for those who are most politically involved, whether frequenting political discussions or actually running for office. Research shows that individuals who are more engaged in politics exhibit greater firing in the amygdala and ventral striatum while viewing statements consistent with their partisan ties. The amygdala is linked to emotional importance, while the ventral striatum is linked to reward value. Thus, political fanatics seem to find heightened intrinsic satisfaction to ideologies with which they agree.

Political circles

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An Execrable Coup-An Exhilarating Counter-Coup
By Joan Swirsky Bio and Archives January 16, 2017In 2009, America experienced a genuine coup d’état, exquisitely formulated and flawlessly executed after decades of planning by the socialists, communists, and jihadists among us who loathe America and have wished for nothing less than transforming our great country into a mecca of far-left, anti-American policies, punctuated by preposterous liberal constructs like political correctness and multiculturalism, and ultimately subservient to Sharia law.

As strange, indeed mind-bending, as this seems, remember that anything that is alien to American values and promises to undermine America’s passion for freedom and strength is considered a good thing and heartily embraced by the America-hating left. Hence, their fetish with Islam, a political system-cum-“religion” that is antithetical to every value that sane Americans hold dear.

As proof, the policies and laws enacted over the past eight years have consistently militated against America’s well-being. This is the proverbial drop in the bucket:

  • An eviscerated military and favor-the-enemy Rules of Engagement.
  • Porous borders over which tens of thousands of unvetted illegal aliens have swarmed, many of them violent criminals and, no doubt, stealth jihadists.
  • A Big Government mentality that encourages unemployment (95-million) and therefore dependency on government from cradle to grave.
  • Massive debt-currently pushing $20 trillion-which weakens our country’s ability to pay for essential needs like infrastructure, Medicare and Medicaid, et al., again with the goal of dependency on government.
  • A horrific healthcare system (Obamacare) that alienates doctors, punishes patients with sky-high premiums and inferior care, and simply doesn’t work-‚Äìhence its inevitable implosion (taking place right now).
  • The most dumbed-down educational system in American history-Common Core-that is based on the fantasy of fairness but in fact deprives every public-school student of even a minimally decent education and a chance to succeed…more government dependency.
  • Implanting operatives from terrorist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood into every branch of our government, including (to name a few) the State Dept., the Pentagon, Homeland Security, the Attorney General’s office, the EPA, the FBI, the CIA, on and on and on-all of them intent on subverting the U.S. Constitution and replacing it with Sharia law, the animating force of Islam, which dictates not only that gays be executed and women who are raped be tried and convicted for infidelity, but that a failure to embrace Islam be punished with either a hefty tax or death.
  • A foreign policy that supports our enemies and spits in the faces of our most faithful allies, for instance Israel, England, Egypt, the list is long.
  • Handing over control of the Internet to the United Nations-the most corrupt, tin-pot-dictator-driven, anti-American, anti-Semitic, American-resource-draining cesspool in our country. If I had one piece of advice for President-Elect Trump, it would be to kick this rancid organization out of the United States! Nothing they’ve ever done has been good for our country. Talk about “draining the swamp”!

AGENT OF CHANGE-GIMME A BREAK!

Americans were both horrified and dumbfounded when the former community organizer, Barack Obama, turned out not to “transform” America for the better, but to be the figurehead-no one would accuse him of being a leader-who left our country in devastating debt, largely unemployed, perceived as the prototypical 97-pound weakling by our allies, and viewed by our own citizens as a lazy but golden-tongued puppet who preferred non-stop golfing vacations and entertaining rap stars and police-hating performers like Beyonc√© in the White House to even a remote semblance of governing.

Even more horrifying was the depth and breadth and immense scope of this coup. It included, a la Karl Marx, a complete takeover of the media-the vehicle by which the American public imagines it knows what is going on. This takeover included non-stop false flags and a steady stream of fake news, which the public might never have known about save for Wikileaks.

Except for a very few outlets, the TV networks, radio stations, and newspapers all sang the same song. Why? Not only because the media has always leaned left, but because Mr. Obama had gotten complete control over the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and therefore could and did censor what he pleased, supporting those who danced to his radical tune and trying to marginalize those who didn’t.

But wait! Things got even worse. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status to the Internal Revenue Service found that their petitions were routinely denied-not for weeks or months but years. When the career crooks in the IRS were exposed, they were magically allowed to resign with full back pay and pensions intact. Nice.

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Dennis Prager: A Guide To Basic Differences Between Left And Right

Source of Human Rights

Left: government

Right: the Creator

Human Nature

Left: basically good (Therefore, society is primarily responsible for evil.)

Right: not basically good (Therefore, the individual is primarily responsible for evil.)

Economic Goal

Left: equality

Right: prosperity

Primary Role of the State

Left: increase and protect equality

Right: increase and protect liberty

Government

Left: as large as possible

Right: as small as possible

Family Ideal

Left: any loving unit of people

Right: a married father and mother, and children

Guiding Trinity

Left: race, gender and class

Right: liberty, In God We Trust and e pluribus unum

Good and Evil

Left: relative to individual and/or society

Right: based on universal absolutes

Humanity’s Primary Division(s)

Left: rich and poor; strong and weak

Right: good and evil

Ideal Primary Identity of an American

Left: world citizen

Right: American citizen

How to Make a Good Society

Left: abolish inequality

Right: develop each citizen’s moral character

View of America

Left: profoundly morally flawed; inferior to any number of European countries

Right: greatest force for good among nations in world history

Gender

Left: a social construct

Right: male and female

Most Important Trait to Cultivate in a Child

Left: self-esteem

Right: self-control

Worth of the Human Fetus

Left: determined by the mother

Right: determined by society rooted in Judeo-Christian values

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