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No, we can’t just all get along

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, emerges from the Senate Chamber after his overnight crusade railing against the nation's new health care law at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. "Obamacare is the biggest job-killer in this country," he said. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Still no progress on the shutdown – but finally, science has come up with the reason this is happening.

“The people who are at the extremes are the people who are most insistent that they have the proper view,” says Professor Mark Leary, who teaches psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.

When Leary’s students polled 527 adults on hot button issues like health care and taxes, they found that the more extreme the view — left or right — the more sure of themselves the subjects were.

It’s called “Belief Superiority.”

“It wouldn’t have to be that way, you could have a moderate who believes that moderation is the only way to view things,” Leary explained. “Benjamin Franklin characterized himself as an extreme moderate, believing that it was the only proper perspective when looking at political issues. For most people though, it doesn’t turn out that way.”

No, and especially not for politicians.

What every politician discovers is that the election process rewards clarity, not cooperation.

Fortunately we have a moderate culture. Our losing politicians peacefully concede. Whereas in violent places like Egypt, Libya, Iraq – the losers just keep on fighting.

As stubborn as our politicians are, at least they’re not into hostages.

Unless you’re talking to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, “They took hostages by shutting down the government and now they’re releasing one hostage at a time.”

Well OK, at least we’re not into violent language.

“Obamacare is the biggest job-killer in this country,” said Senator Ted Cruz.

Well OK at least we don’t talk about blowing things up.

“I’m happy to have that debate with them,” said President Barack Obama, “but you don’t have to threaten to blow the thing up just because you don’t get your way.”

Hmmm…I may be losing my own argument here.


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