Your Political Instinct

NY Times on the chemistry of the political mind. Theory that we align ourselves more according to social instinct than intellect, or rather, we socialize the intellect.

Seeing political identity as a reflection of common brain architecture helps explain another longstanding riddle: why do people vote against their immediate interests? Why do blue-collar Republicans and limousine liberals exist? The question becomes less puzzling if you assume that 1) people choose parties primarily because they desire the companionship of people who share their cognitive wiring, and 2) they desire that companionship so much they’re willing to pay for the privilege.

One problem with this is obviously that it is pre-emptively factoring out those who may make a decision from principle, despite how that affects them situationally. The Affleck syndrome. See, dude would be a million dollars richer without Bush tax cuts, yet he’s a Democrat (or, voting Democratic at least) because he doesn’t belive in supply side economics. Not because he wants to keep closer company with Natalie Portman. It also ignores thouse who vote, or align themselves, based on the priority of pet issues. To some foreign policy is the most important set of issues. To others it may be economics. Still others, guns.