The Political Brain – The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation


In politics, the emotions that really sway voters are hate, hope and fear or anxiety… But the skillful use of fear is unmatched in leading to enthusiasm for one candidate and causing voters to turn away from another.” -Drew Weston

The Roots of Fear
The evolutionary primacy of the brain’s fear circuitry makes it more powerful than reasoning circuits.

For the candidate whose slogans include “Got Hope?” the question was so perfect he might have dreamed it up himself. At an appearance this month at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, a foreign student asked Barack Obama about the fear that has gripped the American psyche since September 11, 2001, and which a number of politicians are hoping to ride to victory. A recent Mitt Romney mailing in New Hampshire, for instance, shows a chain-link fence and warns that the next president’s “policies on illegal immigrants will define America for generations to come.” A new Tom Tancredo ad declares that Central American gangs “now on our soil” are “pushing drugs” and “raping kids.” And Rudy Giuliani rarely misses a chance to evoke images of crashing planes, collapsing towers and 2,973 dead Americans.


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Filed under business, mccain, nader, obama, politics, science and technology, social epistemology

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