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You don't coerce or injure others. Why can politicians do it?
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Why do people act as they do politically?

Aesthetic theory of partisan attraction

Aesthetics is the study of beauty. For our purposes…

How do people choose which partisan tribe they find more pleasing and (more importantly) which one they loathe?

This is the “aesthetic theory of partisan attraction,” introduced with three, new and insightful terms… 

Aesthetic Attraction – Most people don’t vote on issues. They choose a tribe that feels more like them. Then, they engage in…

Aesthetic Alignment – Hardly anyone adopts their stands on most issues based on an overarching philosophy. They’re loyal to their tribe. They adopt the views that bind their tribe closer together against the opposing party.

The politicians implicitly understand this and appeal to their group’s aesthetic with…

Virtue Congratulation – Incumbents tend to win by empowering tribal subcultures — promising to put them in charge. The candidate panders to a vulnerability the subculture feels and turns it into a virtue: “They say X bad thing about you, but I know X isn’t true. Actually, your values are the most enlightened.” Think of Trump saying, “You’re not actually bigots. You love America more than they do, and you want to make it great again.”

NOTE: Virtue Signaling is something else. Politicians and their supporters alike do it. It’s how you show you’re on the team. Virtue Congratulation is a specific form of pandering.

By Jim Babka & Perry Willis

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