The Corner

I Once Was Blind

Over at Tapped, Garance Franke-Ruta approvingly cites a passage from Michael Tomasky’s New York Review of Books piece on a forthcoming Drew Westen book:

Westen’s central insight is both obvious and simple: Democrats, he writes, have generally assumed that voters make their choices based on reason, and this leads to failure because “the political brain is an emotional brain.” The Democrats’ belief in “the dispassionate vision of the mind” has an honorable lineage going back to the Age of Reason and is useful for other purposes in life.

This, of course, is why George Nash’s The Conservative Emotional Movement in America is such a right-wing classic, why Hayek and Friedman spent decades championing “if it feels good, do it,” why the netroots voices that have gained such prominence with the Democratic party are known for primarily their “dispassionate vision” and emotional distance. It’s all so obvious now, so clear, as if someone switched out my old antenna for an HD receiver. 

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