“The Political Brain”…

…is the title of a book by Drew Westen, professor of psychology at Emory University, that was initially published in 2007.  The book is subtitled “The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation”.

Here are some excerpts from the website of Public Affairs Books, the publisher of the book:

In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role…The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven’t decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates’ policy positions.

Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic [Party] politics isn’t so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate.

And from the book’s website:

The Political Brain shows how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years—such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can’t change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it.

Actually, you can change the structure of the brain but neuroplasticity and the power of mental force is a subject for another day.

One last excerpt from Public Affairs Books:

“…Drew Westen is a must read and must hear for any Democrat who wants to win in Mississippi, Colorado, or rural Ohio. In 2008 we will win the presidency if our candidate reads and acts on this book.”
—Howard Dean, Chairman, Democratic Party



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