The Norman Transcript

Columns

February 26, 2013

Do emotional centers guide politics?

(Continued)

NORMAN —

It could be big government, big corporations, foreign threats or any suspect entity they believe is trying to control or diminish them.

So when researchers find clear links between fear and other emotions, and the political views of individuals, I’m not surprised.

The evidence in support of this connection is visible every day in the nation’s political debates. You especially see it during political campaigns, where we are bombarded with campaign ads designed to scare the bejabbers out of us. And as people become numb to these scare tactics, dangers are presented in increasingly apocalyptic terms.

I learned long ago that lots of people in politics seek to gain advantage by frightening me. It’s gotten to the point that whenever I hear anything scary — regardless of the ideological source — I see it as a red flag.

Emotions are powerful human motivators. But we still possess the intellect to understand when they are betraying us — and when others are tying to con us.

Mitchel Olszak is a columnist for the New Castle News.

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