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Thu Feb 9, 2017, 12:40 PM

Why and How Democrats need to attack Trump's loyalty, authority, and sanctity

I was reminded this week about a great book I read last year - Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind". In it, he showed that while humans have five essential morality axes

Care/Harm
Fairness/Cheating
Loyalty/Betrayal
Authority/Subversion
Sanctity/Degradation

(with Liberty/Oppression as a proposed sixth axis)

What's interesting is that liberal/progressive people really really value Care and Fairness, and don't really worry about the other three, conservatives value all five roughly equally.

It's why there is the fundamental divide in our world views. For instance, a liberal thinks about a homosexual couple and feels that no one is being harmed by them, so go for it! A conservative thinks about a homosexual couple and his Sanctity bells go off. It just isn't right (for the conservative).

I was going to write a post about how Democrats need to get so much smarter with their messaging and start supporting progressive policies in the language of Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity that the conservatives would understand. Move their emotions, not their intellects.

But then I found that Haidt had already addressed this a bit this week:

I think there are two main approaches. The first links to deep moral intuitions about fairness versus cheating and exploitation. Trump presents himself as a successful businessman. But a good businessman creates positive-sum interactions. He leaves a long trail of satisfied customers who want to buy from him again, and a long trail of satisfied partners who want to work with him again. Trump has not done this. He thinks about everything as a zero sum interaction, which he usually wins — and therefore the person who dealt with him loses. I think the Democrats should give voice to a long parade of people — former customers and partners — who deeply regret dealing with Trump. Trump cheats, exploits, deceives. Trump is a con-man, and we are his biggest mark yet. Don’t let him turn us all into suckers.

The second approach is to link to moral intuitions about loyalty, authority, and sanctity. These are the moral foundations that authoritarians and ultra-nationalists generally appeal to, and Trump sure did this in his convention speech. But these can be turned against him too. Trump talks about patriotism (a form of loyalty), but he seems to be pals with one of our main adversaries (Putin) while telling our friends in the Baltics that we may not defend them. In these ways he brings shame to America and weakens our stature among our friends. The moral importance of authority is in part that it creates order, and Trump talks a great deal about law and order, yet he is the chaos candidate who will throw America into constant constitutional crises, throw the world into recession, and throw our alliances into disarray. The moral importance of sanctity is that it brings dignity and exaltation to people, places, and institutions that can unite people who worship things in common. The psychology of sacredness evolved as part of our religious nature, but people use the same psychology toward kings, the constitution, national heroes, and, to a decreasing degree, to the American presidency. Trump degrades it all with his crassness, his obscene language, his fear-mongering and his inability to offer soaring rhetoric. What a contrast with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Reagan.


It's excellent advice, and Democrats need to think this way - strike out at conservative voters through their emotions, and you'll finally be talking to them the way they understand. With their guts.


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Reply Why and How Democrats need to attack Trump's loyalty, authority, and sanctity (Original post)
ProfessorPlum Feb 2017 OP
blm Feb 2017 #1
ProfessorPlum Feb 2017 #2
blm Feb 2017 #3
ProfessorPlum Feb 2017 #4
Ms. Toad Feb 2017 #5
ProfessorPlum Feb 2017 #6
Ms. Toad Feb 2017 #7
ProfessorPlum Feb 2017 #8
blm Feb 2017 #9
Ms. Toad Feb 2017 #10
blm Feb 2017 #11
Ms. Toad Feb 2017 #12

Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 12:42 PM

1. This has been my approach on social media.

Some people don't like it and I know for damn sure they are getting tired of defending the indefensible.

Good. ; )

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Response to blm (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 12:55 PM

2. Excellent.

blm!

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 12:56 PM

3. ((ProfPlum))

.

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Response to blm (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:03 PM

4. Aw, thanks :)

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:11 PM

5. I'd disagree about loyalty/betrayal - or DU is filled with conservatives

The "concern" troll mantra, the silencing anyone who dared suggest ahead of the election that Trump had a chance of winning, and the daily threads still condemning BoB & Jill Stein voters are all about loyalty.

That may be a change - because I have not experienced that among progressives in the past - but starting with the Obama era, it has certainly been a significant thing people on this board, at least, care about.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:15 PM

6. Perhaps that's why it is so hard to herd the cats

loyalty, sanctity, and authority matter to liberals, too, just in a more intellectual way, not the gut-gripping fear that conservatives have when they think they are losing them.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:18 PM

7. The attacks I've seen here don't feel intellectual to me. n/t

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:20 PM

8. I know what you mean

perhaps it is interesting that the loyalty argument was being put forward by the supporters of the more conservative candidate.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:31 PM

9. From what I've observed here since its earliest days, many members have evolved past

the niceties they used to express because they feel more acutely the desperation that developed when GOP increased its lock on every branch of government.

For the most part they don't want to spend the time anymore debating nuances when they see the visible destruction being caused by the fascist agenda. They prefer to take on the GOP.

Doesn't make anyone good or bad, they just differ on priorities.

I got kicked out of HRC group AND Sanders group for the despicable crime of requesting that we stick to provable facts over soaring acclamations. Oddly, some of the same page leaders kicked me out of Elizabeth Warren group. I am probably one of the top 100 activists on this site. People can feel frail when your priority doesn't align with theirs.

Experienced it firsthand, but, I am too old and thick-skinned to let it get in the way of what HAS to happen - exposing the lies of the GOP and the truth about their fascist agenda.





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Response to blm (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:57 PM

10. I was just observing that I don't believe it is accurate that progressives

don't care about loyalty/betrayal.

That was the assertion in the OP - and that certainly does not match what is going on in DU.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 02:33 PM

11. Yes, I get that.

I do have a tendency to back up a bit and view the big picture…maybe too far in some cases. Heh…comes with old age, perhaps. ; )

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Response to blm (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 02:45 PM

12. I'm just not convinced the change is temporary

Once you practice a behavior/way of thinking for 8 years (at least), I'm not sure it is possible to unwind once the pressure is off.

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