[Paleopsych] bias

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 3 23:11:08 UTC 2005

Lynn says:
>>The right now sees the left as idiots who don't know

--I hope you don't think in such shallow, simplistic
and venomous terms. 

>>I didn't see anyone saying "I have Christian 
values." I didn't see where anyone was trashing
reputations. The idea about branding is to associate 
a service or product with an easy-to-remember word or
image. It has to be positive, not negative.<<

--You didn't see anyone trashing Kerry, or liberals in
general? Perhaps you have one of those filters that
allows you to notice only when your guy is being

Do you really think there was no effort made to
associate Bush with Christianity? I find that hard to
believe. It's like saying Democrats make no effort to
appeal to labor, that they just naturally speak the

Branding can indeed be negative. Some advertisements
use that technique, specifically "un-branding" a rival
product. Politicians use it very deliberately and
systematically, as do propagandists on either side,
from Rush Limbaugh to Michael Moore. 

>>Paul the Apostle said, "I become all things to 
all people so that I may by some means bring some to

--Yes, he was what is now described as a "social
chameleon". Similar to corporate PR people who learn
all they can about various subcultures (hiphop, for
example) and then use the language of the group to
associate their product to the values and ideals of
the group. Not to suggest Paul was "selling"
Christianity in a cynical way. I'm sure he believed in
his product. 

>>So a Christian might call someone a name, like Bush
did during the first campaign about the NYT reporter.
It is not right, and he should repent, and probably 

--How do you know he probably did? I'm certain he
repented of saying it on mic. I have no idea whether
he repented of the actual sentiment. Should it be
assumed that outspoken Christians have "repented" of
their sins, while non-Christians have not? Seems like
a bit of an unlevel playing field if that's the case.
Bill Clinton is a Christian, and a lot of
Conservatives seem convinced he never sincerely
repented. I'd hate to think that kind of judgment is
political and not spiritually motivated.

>>Perhaps I am wrong, but when I try to read Left
sites, it seems they are full of heat, not light.<<

--Which sites, specifically? I could easily find
Right-leaning sites to match the tone of any
Left-leaning site you can find. There are passionate
but ignorant people on both sides, for example the
astonishingly large number of Republican voters who
still think Saddam was involved in 911 or that the 911
hijackers were Iraqis. I don't like misinformation,
regardless of who spreads it. I've seen both sides use
email rumors to slander the other side. Fact-checkers
are always needed.

>>Please read Horowitz' Radical Son, where he talks
toward the end of the book about how tolerant the
right turned out to be of diversity, dissent, and
dialog. He was astonished, since as a leftist he had
always thought the opposite was true.<<

--If you walk into ANY group and treat them in a
decent way, they will usually treat you just as
decently, even if your politics differ. Conversely,
it's easy to get people to associate bad personal
behavior with political or religious beliefs, as when
a Christian, Muslim, environmentalist, feminist (etc)
gets judgmental and soap-boxy and is rejected by a
group which then goes on to say
"Environmentalists/feminists/Christians/whatever are
always acting like that, they have no manners". Those
who agree with the group politically but act just as
obnoxiously are categorized differently. In that case,
the political belief does not get associated with the
behavior. So you end up with Muslims thinking all
Christians are hypocrites, Christians thinking all
environmentalists are hypocrites, etc. Each group is
associating bad behavior with the opposite political
belief, and the fallacy is rarely noticed by the

>>Many Republicans are moderates. I would suggest 
that the Democrats have driven many moderates out of
their party, which I think has been a huge mistake.
Zell Miller. Sam Nunn. JFK and Truman wouldn't fit in
today's Democratic Party.<<

--I'd say a number of Republican moderates are being
alienated by their party. Are you REALLY calling Zell
Miller a moderate??

>>Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own
emotional state.<<

--I agree. Blaming video games, music, movies, porn or
drugs for people's emotional state erodes personal
responsibility. I've seen members of both parties
blame one or more of the above for various social

>>Views on military strategy might be biased by an 
unacknowledged resentment over paying taxes to support
military contractors. 

Are you referring to the anti-war left?<<

--Either the anti-war Left, or the part of the Left
that is not anti-war but believes war is being waged
in a sloppy, amoral or unintelligent way. Or moderates
who worry about military contractors becoming part of
the policy loop, leading to conflicts of interest. It
would, of course, be a fallacy to portray everyone who
feels a particular war is being waged wrongly as
"anti-war". A number of Republicans were skeptical of
Clinton's use of troops, for example. They were not
anti-war, just not happy with Clinton's particular
actions. Of course, it makes political sense for each
party to lump the other party in with its most extreme
element, so Republicans will be portrayed as religious
zealots who want to dismantle government programs for
the poor and set off Armageddon, and Democrats will be
portrayed as socialists who are naive about war and
want to burn Bibles. Neither perception is correct,
but they're both pretty common.


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