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NRA and PP Show Americans as Moderates and Politicians Out of Touch

by John on 08/05/2015

A fascinating poll found that the NRA and Planned Parenthood have the same rather high approval ratings.

That shouldn’t surprise anyone – unless you’re playing for the hyper political left or right. Most of us have common sense and know the nonsense from the political arena is hyped up for entertainment and to lure special interest money.

The NRA and Planned Parenthood are OK with most Americans.

Most of us don’t see Planned Parenthood as an abortion mill. Most studies show abortions are only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. And no federal money goes towards abortions. Most of us see it as a source of women’s reproductive health. Any thinking person realizes with contraception there would be fewer abortions.

Still, are most people dismissing the video investigation of Planned Parenthood? No. Most of us want to get to the bottom of it. If the organization is running a mill for aborted fetus parts, then come down on them. But let’s investigate and also consider the people who might have manipulated the video for political purposes. And to throw out the health benefits of Planned Parenthood because of some hyper ideology is ridiculous.

The same goes for the NRA. Most Americans are not in favor of taking away people’s right to have a gun to defend themselves. What the majority of us want is a chance to make sure those who are mentally incompetent shouldn’t have a gun.

Too often we get caught up in the rhetoric that is strictly left or right. The reality is most of us take — from both sides. Bernie Sanders has a lot of support from conservatives while Rand Paul draws some liberals. Donald Trump is catching a wide swath of moderates along with the far right.

Best way to understand this is a book from a few years back called The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. Here is my review. It still holds true today on how people vote and why. It is scientific research that breaks down the left and right mindsets.

Here are my takeaways from the book:

  • There are reasons why some of us – even from different families and who are close friends – vote differently.
  • We individuals tend to be group-ish. It gives us identity.
  • We also tend to react with our most primitive or innate reactions, then we use our intellect to justify them.
  • Groups bind and blind. There is a double-edged sword to our political, fraternal, business, and religious institutions. They bring cohesion and order to society but they eventually become immoral to stay intact. Right now, most of us think both political parties have been blinding us too much lately.
  • There are six moral foundations in each of us. Republicans experience all six; Democrats are influenced by three. This is why conservatives are louder and more passionate, sometimes more unreasonable and liberals seem more passive.
  • By understanding these foundations, we can see what foundations are more prevalent in ourselves and our friends and new acquaintances.

My bias here: I think I fall in with the real Silent Majority of Americans. I consider myself – even though I hate labels – as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. It leads to lots of great comments from friends who lean hard one way or the other. Those on the right think I am a Communist; those on the left think I am a Fascist.

Even though personally I am opposed to abortion, I would never try to change or influence someone not to stop an abortion if it is medically acceptable and within the law.

And knowing who my next door neighbors were, I had no problem with them having guns. In fact, I found it comforting. Now if they were whackos, then a different story.

As much as I think we are apathetic as a country, I think this poll shows we are two other things:

  • We’re way too busy trying to make a living, raising kids, or prepping for retirement to spend time caught up in the business of what most of us see as corrupt politics
  • We’re tired of this nonsense that plays out like a reality TV show when there are more important things like work, family, and living the life we want.

Sadly, though, it is these reality TV characters, fueled by special interest money, that sometimes decide our fates and futures.

Your thoughts?




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