Politics and Emotion

On reflection, I’m being unfair to the political Left by suggesting they are deliberately collaborating with the Right. It is more likely, I think, that they are simply confused. 

We are emotional, not rational animals, as I’m ALWAYS saying, and our beliefs and opinions are the products more of sentimental impulse than ratiocination. Our opinions on politics seem to be picked up from the prevailing assumptions of our communities and cemented by our tribal identities and loyalty to family, friends, and community. These are feelings not soberly deduced conclusions, and they are reinforced by other emotional responses: pity and empathy for those we feel solidarity with; anger, fear or resentment towards those who threaten or oppose us.  

Political loyalties seem to be held with peculiar strength. It’s very difficult to admit that you’ve made a mistake in choosing your tribe or casting your vote. This must be partly to do with the accusatory and oppositional nature of the politics in Britain. I think it will be very difficult for the Labour party to win back the Northern Brexiteer voters they lost when they were led by Jeremy Corbyn. Acts of angry renunciation become instantly entrenched. Nobody likes to come crawling back. 

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