L.A.Times: Democrats Need to be MORE Emotional Campaigners?


By: Warner Todd Huston

This one is a hoot. The L.A.Times has posted a piece in their politics section about the supposed revelations of Drew Westen, a psychologist who is advising Democrats that they are too logical and rely on “facts” too much in their campaigns. Westen is warning Democrats that they need to be more “emotional” in their appeals to the voters because, according to his “research”, Democrat and independent voters are just too darn stupid to understand logic and facts. And Westen makes this claim as if Democrats don’t already campaign almost strictly on pure emotion with little appeal to intellect now!

WASHINGTON — Drew Westen, a genial 48-year-old psychologist and brain researcher, was talking to a rapt liberal audience about the role of emotion in politics, how to talk back aggressively to Republicans, and why going negative is not to be feared.

One wonders when, exactly, Democrats didn’t follow this path toward using overly emotional campaign methods? Have we so soon forgotten the James Byrd ad where then Governor Bush was accused of agreeing with the racist dragging death of a black Texas man? How about LBJ’s famous Daisy ad where Democrats accused Barry Goldwater of wanting to start a nuclear war? How about today where John Edwards is campaigning on “two America’s” or his 2004 claims that Democrats would make sure the crippled could walk if America elected he and John Kerry to office? And how often are Republicans cast by Democrats as those evil people who want to poison the water, keep blacks from voting, take away women’s rights, and starve the children?

…only EVERY election!

Yet, here is the L.A.Times trying to convince us that it is the Democrats who are just too darn logical, even tempered and fact based in their campaigning for their own good! And their new “rock star” professor Westen is happy to give them what they want.

Westen writes that it doesn’t make sense to argue an issue using facts and figures and to count on voters — particularly the swing voters who decide national elections — to make choices based on sophisticated understandings of policy differences or procedures. He says Democratic candidates must learn to do what Republicans have understood for many years — they must appeal to emotions. And (talking to you, Mr. Gore) stay away from numbing statistics.

The Times’ article presents this “academic” Westen as a “rock star” professor for his idea and his appearance at the recent far left “Take Back America” convention where he spoke about his turn away from facts for an appeal to emotions. He has even appeared in the homes of the denizens of Hollywood and anti-American George Sorros’ lair. So, he is for sure a hit with the activist, left wing, jet set.

But it is amusing that neither the extremists at the “Take Back America” conference, nor the supposed intellectuals at American Prospect Magazine, nor Westen’s academic colleagues have noticed that this so-called professor’s ideas are actually anti-intellectualism at its most obvious.

This man is advocating to jettison facts and serious debate and for them to be replaced by naked emotionalism. Not very “academic” of him, is it?

Worse, this whole episode shows how little the left respects the American people. I repeat a key part of the Times’ piece:

…it doesn’t make sense to argue an issue using facts and figures and to count on voters … to make choices based on sophisticated understandings…

In essence they are saying that people are too stupid to understand how smart and sophisticated their betters on the left are, so ginning up the voters’ emotions is the only way to win. Amazing for its arrogance, isn’t it?

But, overt emotionalism and arrogance has been the left’s calling card since Marxism’s birth. So, it’s no wonder that they love this anti-intellectual “academic.” After all, he’s telling them exactly what they want to hear to “validate” their “feelings.”

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