Spankers tend to see the world in stark, black-and-white terms, perceive the social order as vulnerable or under attack, tend to make strong distinctions between “us” and “them,” and emphasize order and muscular responses to threats. Parents favoring timeouts feel more comfortable with ambiguities, sense less threat, embrace minority groups — and are less prone to disgust when they see a man eating worms.And, I thought this bit was interesting:
I moaned to the scholars that their research was utterly dispiriting for those of us in the opinion business. After all, it’s extra challenging to try to change people’s minds if they may not even share our hard-wiring. Are people who are “wrong” on the issues beyond redemption, because of their physiological inability to help themselves?..Professors Hetherington and Smith dismissed my whining and were more sanguine. For starters, they note that physiological differences are probably found among the extremes on each side, while political battles are fought in the middle. Indeed, these studies may be useful in determining what arguments to deploy against the other side...“What research like ours may help with is in figuring out how to construct an argument in a way that is going to meaningfully connect with those on the other side,” Dr. Smith said.
Conservatives may be more responsive to health reform, he suggested, if it is framed as a national security argument. For example, American companies complain about the difficulty of competing with foreign companies that don’t have to pay for employee medical coverage. In that sense, our existing health care system leaves us vulnerable...That foreign threat might make conservatives sweat so much that maybe, just maybe, they’d consider revisiting the issue.