Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stephen L. Carter ― Are You an Angry Voter? Take a Deep Breath

The conservative professor ask the question, "Why do we worry so about the mood of the voters?"

(Bloomberg News)

"Everybody seems to think voters are furious this year. The angry voter has been blamed (if that’s the word) for everything from the insurgent candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump to the possible emergence of a third-party presidential candidate in 2016. And although some thoughtful dissenters wonder whether Americans are quite as enraged as the news media insist, the tale of the angry voter seems unlikely to fade any time soon.

In the midst of this maelstrom, political scientists Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster of Emory University last week posted an intriguing analysis of the role of anger in the 2012 presidential election. They conclude that voters are indeed angry -- angry mainly at the opposing party -- and that this anger is increasingly correlated with ideology. In other words, the most liberal and most conservative voters are also the most likely to be angry. Looking forward to 2016 they conclude: “It promises to be a long and nasty campaign.”

Why do we worry so about the mood of the voters? Probably because anger implies a loss of control. We see anger as an impediment to rational thought. This view has an impressive pedigree. For instance, Galen, the second- and third-century Greek physician and philosopher, associated anger with barbarians, the young and the uneducated. Anger, he conceded, is natural to us, but the truly mature are able to tame it with reason."

Read the full article HERE.