These are the two primary strategies we all use to motivate ourselves and others every day. We use them in our internal self-talk, we use them with our children, and politicians use them constantly
This is an excellent look at motivative forces, for both politics and journalism. I'm reminded that I've never felt any pressure from any of your articles, Thom. You just present the facts and leave it up to us to determine which is best. If I felt that you were always putting in a plug for something in your articles -- for example, always reminding us that it's never too late to update your vaxx shots, like our CBC media does -- I'd realize that your platform was being supported by some corporation that had a financial interest in whatever message you were promoting.
Sometimes, too, especially in politics, it's not in what's said, but in what goes unsaid. This morning I read of Japan's Kishida meeting with your leader Biden -- they're going to discuss all sorts of military subjects. What struck me is that there was no mention of them discussing the climate issue. So they're discussing all sorts of potential future attacks on their citizens from North Korea and China, and attacks on democracies such as Ukraine's, but not a mention of how your own country is under attack, RIGHT NOW, on the climate front. Both sides of your country are being dealt devastating blows from the climate. I'm not saying Biden hasn't tried to deal with the climate issue, but judging by what these leaders are discussing, it's clear that weapons and armament are their top priorities. To my mind, they're avoiding what should be their immediate concern for what might lie in the future. This is a reminder of how much influence the fossil fuel and the military industries still have in U.S. politics.
In recovery, we call 'fear' the 'corrosive, evil thread' that runs through all our lives. We drink/use/addict to anything, to avoid/suppress fear. Problem is, fear is not going anywhere. If you feed fear, it grows. The Cherokee have a wonderful proverb; a Grandfather explained fear/hate versus kindness/tolerance by comparing our internal, battling natures to two wolves - one wolf is kind, calm and loving and the other wolf is angry and vicious. The wolf that dominates is the wolf you feed. I will add a third component; being of service and helping others is the antidote to fear. Get out of your head and into someone else's - there's no greater joy than being of service. Help someone, save a life today.
Thom, your article is clear and well researched and substantiated. Thank you so much for delivering the goods. I'm sharing it with my Republican friends and relatives who are good, decent people but have been scared into coulseling.
Kevin McCarthy BLUSHED when he voted for himself. That is a hard to control very human response. I have to constantly remind myself the right-wingers are only human. The judgement portion of our brains work very differently from theirs. We cannot accept their values, and they are baffled by ours.
Nothing we say is going to change their brains. They learn when they find themselves related to someone LGBTQ, when the climate chaos lands on their doorstep, and when they end up bankrupt from the health care rip-off-system. They need our help and encouragement when that happens.
What Fox and other despicable individuals have done to exploit the right's fears, as well as their god, guns and gays mentality, is beyond the pale. The racism and fascism could leave us hopeless, but we KNOW we are not helpless. What we have managed to do despite the "Kevins" of this world is kind of remarkable. Gladly accept that tag and know every little bit you do counts.
Thom, with all due respect, anyone who stumps for escalation of war stoking nationalism and shutting down any opposing views is not a progressive. Anyone who says Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are "identical presidential candidates" is not a progressive. Anyone who calls Nancy Pelosi a progressive is certainly not a progressive. Anyone who takes a call from a white woman who is beside herself because she believes that the reason liberals are so obsessed with Putin's invasion of Ukraine and by the same token completely unconcerned with Democrats' complicity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Israel (to name a few) is because those in the latter countries are uneducated and poor unlike "us" and that is met with only a chuckle and an aside that "there is racism" is not a progressive. Anyone who takes a call about Putin's invasion of Ukraine and completely disregards NATO's history, accusing that caller of spreading Putin's propaganda, is definitely not a progressive. You work almost solely for the electoral prospects of Democrats, thinking that stifling critical thinking regarding their inhumanity and donor-diluted public policy (see: Affordable Care Act) will somehow win elections and improve things for marginalized populations and the working class. How has that strategy been working over the past eight years or so?
The brain has multiple areas where vital functions are performed.. I concentrate on two the brain stem or amygdala and the prefrontal cortex.
The amygdala is the most powerful it is where the fight or flight response originates and its function is self protection...survival.
The prefrontal cortex is where reasoning, analysis, computation, critical thinking takes place, but only after the amygdala has done its job and spurred the body to action.
I draw an analogy here the amygdala is conservative, the prefrontal cortex progressive.
The amygdala in our situation is the Republican party, the prefrontal cortex is the Democratic party.
The Republican party manipulates the body politic via fear, rational or irrational, and it is non stop, no time to rest and let the prefrontal cortex (Democratic) party to take a breather and make sense of it all.
It will all grind to a halt, when the amygdala takes full control, and thus the economy grinds to a halt, and people get fed up with it all, but it will be too late for then come the jackboots and voila neo serfdom called fascism.
This war cannot and will not be won by appeal to higher angels,by going high when they go low, by being ethical and consistent, not while rattlesnakes are being thrown onto the dance floor.
It interests me greatly how people respond to a series of positive thoughts and statements. It appears that these thoughts and statements trigger a need to caustically assess hope and optimism and bring a tarp of suspicion to cover these daring concepts . So much more comfort in the mundane but morose.
In general, Mr. Biden's administration has been a pragmatic return to 'what's doable for all Americans.' However, it's tiresome to listen to the Black-and-White descriptors of the voters who have brought us the Republican Party and have ignored the deception that they stand for anyone other than corporations and Super Rich People. They didn't have much of a choice after the Democratic Party abandoned the South and the Rural.
The idea that all the voters who had to chose between the life styles of voters in Mega-Urban areas, i.e The Democratic party, and the only other choice, i.e. the Republican Party, are mean, vicious and mostly not too smart is not very respectful. Nor is it a successful debating theme to take to neighbors and relatives.
During the 2020-22 our world and America was successfully manipulated by one of the most effective Fear Propaganda Campaigns the civilized world has ever experienced: The Covid Police went to work through all the international health organizations, WHO in partnership with Mr. Gates, and CDC in partnership with all the major pharmaceutical corporations with Dr. Faucie conducting and threatening all of us with loss of work and loss of travel freedom unless we all submitted to a series of unproven medical experiments that had no verifiable data. Researchers and doctors were threatened and blackballed if they presented data and possible alternatives that might be cheaper and safer.
The Biden administration and the Democratic party backed this approach and have been culpable for putting all parents with young children into deep fear because their children were labeled as 'spreaders' and a risk for all the people older than 65, and they have allowed the pharmaceuticals to move forward towards their ultimate G0-Home-Free-Legal card to put a Covid vaccine mandate on all our young children https://www.thedailybeast.com/are-kids-getting-too-many-vaccines- who were never at risk https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57766717. The Biden Administration and Democratic Senators Durbin from Illinois and many other Democratic legislators have been using the FEAR weapon to try to get the FDA to put common herbs and vitamins on the Pharmaceutical List of Sick Care Prescriptions https://www.wellnessresources.com/news/senator-durbin-the-fda-viciously-attack-dietary-supplements and https://anh-usa.org/durbins-supplement-attack-for-2022-defeated/. Their approach offended a cohort of voters tallied at 50-100 million voters who prefer using Alternative Health Care solutions rather than the Mainstream Sick Care approach https://www.cnn.com/2015/02/11/health/feat-alternative-medicine-study/index.html.
We can do better than name calling; we can talk with each other. And, we can AGREE TO DISAGREE AND FOCUS ON IMPLEMENTING AND SUPPORTING COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS.
The Two party system has been co-opted by the Rich and corporations; the recent mega Pentagon budget was securely supported by corporate Democratic legislators https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/23/senate-democrats-boost-pentagon-spending-500705.
Voters who are streaming into the https://braverangels.org/ national action organization are paying $12 to put Blue and Red voters together to find courteous and pragmatic solutions to the challenges our country is faced with. This seems like a better All-American Way than name calling.
Mr. Hartman's citations:
These are the two primary strategies we all use to motivate ourselves and others every day. We use them in our internal self-talk, we use them with our children, and politicians use them every time they run for election or re-election.
To compare them with elemental forces of nature, fear- and pain-based motivation strategies are like the electromagnetic force. Powerful. Instantaneous. Violent. You can’t look away. When lighting is striking all around you, your one and only thought is to get away from it to avoid being struck.
The weakness of pain-based strategies is that they exhaust people and thus eventually lose their power. If somebody shouts, “Be afraid!” too often over too long a period of time, people stop paying attention. It’s like the story of the little boy who cried wolf.
Republicans, for example, have been hysterically warning us about communism and socialism for so long and with such over-the-top rhetoric that few people (outside of true believers) pay attention anymore. Ditto for their warnings about the evils of unions or racially integrated public schools.
In 2020 when Joe Biden was asked by ABC’s Robin Roberts what his campaign slogan was, he replied:
“Make America moral again. Make America return to the essence of who we are, the dignity of the country, the dignity of people, treating our people with dignity. End this God-awful deliberate division that is being taken in order to separate people to aggrandize his own power.”
And Biden has largely kept to that. The first two years of his presidency have been characterized by a return of decency and compassion, along with respect for the rule of law. He’s a genuinely decent human being.
And he has taken an aggressive stand on behalf of democracies around the world, including Ukraine. This is noble and honorable work.
The fact that Senator Bernie Sanders and President Joe Biden agree on most issues these days tells us an awful lot about the forward-looking state of the Democratic Party and the hopes Americans have for it.