Emotions Trump Reality

A brain researcher is advising Democrats that they need to focus on voters’ emotions in order to win debates.

There’s nothing surprising about this. I’ve always thought that the liberal line is based entirely on appeal to emotion, rather than a rational view of factual evidence.

What’s more cushy to say: “everyone deserves health coverage” or “the free market economy is the best system for ensuring advanced health care and coverage in the long term.” That one’s easy. If you don’t know anything about economics, research and development, and the private sector, then the guy who denies that there should be “universal health insurance” is just an evil conservative.

Or how about this: “We must raise the minimum wage so everyone can have a living wage!” or “minimum wage requirements do nothing to improve the buying power of low wage earners, since the market must adjust to compensate for the increased pay with higher costs across the board.” Again, easy: The guy arguing for higher minimum wages “cares” about the “poor,” and the guy who understands economics, inflation, and the fact that there are jobs that simply do not warrant a “living wage” is “cruel” and “detests” people who “earn” their income.

The fact is, it’s usually easier for Democrats to win the “hearts” of voters because their arguments appeal to emotional responses rather than realities. In my view, a capitalistic policy is in fact more compassionate on the whole because it rewards hard work and innovation, whereas a more socialistic approach punishes achievement and encourages mediocrity. And since people are not taught basic economics or about market forces in public school, they tend not to care about the realities of socialism verses capitalism.

And it’s easy to say “tax the rich” to pay for whatever you want to “give” voters, like “free” health care or other forms of welfare, because most people aren’t “rich.” The guy trying to argue for personal freedom and responsibility — the freedom to fail or succeed — always has the tougher fight because, well, people just don’t care. They’re not that interested in freedom, if it means they have to be personally responsible for their own welfare.

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