Why Do We Get So Angry Over Politics?

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Mr. Beat explains why people get mad when their political beliefs are challenged.
#politics #civics #government

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The Red and the Blue by Steve Kornacki

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Ok, so let’s start with the fact that humans are tribal. This is evolutionary. Our ancient ancestors formed groups based on trust and cooperation. Humans are and always have been social animals, who are quick to see the benefit of forming groups and will go to great lengths to keep the group together. The longer we stay in groups, the more likely we are to have common goals and, more importantly, common morals.

Here’s a little disclaimer- I probably should point out that I am also a human before we move forward with this video.

So yeah, we humans are held together by these things called morals, or the beliefs and standards about how humans should behave. Morals hold us together but also makes us fear and hate other groups. And, we get pretty offended when individuals in our group want to leave and join another group. Humans have been around a couple hundred thousand years, and today we may think we are individuals, but we are still heavily dependent on groups. Some groups we have a much deeper sense of membership of. For example, we are usually pretty loyal to our families, or our religious group. However, we are usually not so deeply tied to our coworkers or classmates, for example. We have emotional connections to the groups we are loyal to.

It really doesn’t matter what type of group it is. We can go all-in for any group, no matter how big or small, or no matter how nefarious it may be.

Speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to start a cult. I’ll let you know when the Facebook page is finished.

Once we are all-in, there is often no going back. The group becomes our identity, and our status in society becomes directly tied to the group.

So why do we so often go all-in for political ideologies? Because politics is directly related to morals. Again, morals are the beliefs and standards about how humans should behave. Politics is about what the people in power do, and what they do directly affects the rest of society. Because we think our group is moral, then of course we passionately defend it and attack other groups. But here’s a great quote. “Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples - while judging ourselves by our best intentions.” That quote was by someone who made my Worst Presidents video. George W. Bush. But it’s true. We tend to think we are more virtuous than others. We get so upset over politics because when someone criticizes are political beliefs, just like when they attack our religious beliefs, we perceive it as an attack on our identity.

Look, at least politics is an important thing to get upset about. I mean, we get upset about petty things, like sports teams. I’m a Chiefs fan, and I used to passionately hate Raiders fans when I was younger, just because I was, you know, a fan of a group of these guys who tackle each other and fight over a small piece of leather and I didn’t want those other group of guys wearing the black and silver to get that piece of leather.

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