Bill Murchison

Here's a neat bit of news, courtesy of the scholarly community: Your political opinions reflect your inner anxieties and biases. Including -- pssst -- your Racial Views.

 Let us tarry a moment with the deep thinkers at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, whose meditations the Washington Post reported this week. The society just came off a conference, wherein were presented, said the Post, "several provocative psychological studies about the nature of political belief."

 It would seem -- I am still quoting the Post -- that our politics are rooted in "emotion and implicit assumptions." Not quite you-are-what-you-ate -- more like you-aren't-what-you-hate. One study -- the Post again -- "put self-identified Democratic and Republican partisans in brain scanners and asked them to evaluate negative information about various candidates. Both groups were quick to spot inconsistency and hypocrisy -- but only in candidates they opposed."

 Another study said that "supporters of President Bush and other conservatives held stronger self-admitted biases against blacks than liberals did."

 A Harvard psychologist commented: "George W. Bush is appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor greater anti-black prejudice." Quod erat demonstrandum -- the left long ago having determined that the only reason for opposing busing, affirmative action, etc. is hostility to the aims of blacks.

 Here once more go the blind men, feeling the elephant out, saying lordly things about the whole with respect to the discrete parts they have noted. I wouldn't imagine much will come of these various studies, apart from the interest they will excite among bloggers. Everybody knows there is some connection -- some element even of bias -- in political determinations. The damnable modernity of these revelations is what I might draw attention to.

   Americans, circa 2006, pretty much assume rationality has fled the political scene. You can tell from the language. The Angry Left isn't about to give George W. Bush a shred of credit for doing anything in which he believes. By Howard Dean's standards, and those of the liberal bloggers, Bush-ism is a pyramid of lies and deceptions. Iraq! Weapons of mass destruction! Even Katrina! And now the next justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Samuel Alito Jr., who has convinced Joseph Biden and Teddy Kennedy that he and Bush are conspiring to roll back civil liberties, etc., etc.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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