People Need to Stop Voting With Their Emotions

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provided by theatlantic.com

  In this election, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have primarily focused on turning voters against the opposing side through the use of emotions. Hillary claims Trump is a racist. Trump claims Hillary is a liar with poor judgement. While both have made plenty of immoral decisions and statements, such as Trump’s remarks about women and Hillary’s email scandal, the question that we face as a nation on Nov. 8 is not “Who is a better person?” The question that we must face without emotional biases is “Who would make a better president?” They know that talking about policies is not going to persuade voters to vote for them because emotion always beats logic.

 The question that we face as a nation on Nov. 8 is not ‘Who is a better person?’ The question that we must face without emotional biases is ‘Who would make a better president?’”

  Emotions, not logic, are the basis for political and economic ideals, or ideology. If ideology was based only on rationality, there would be little division over which policies would best benefit the nation. Instead, ideology is shaped by our emotional nature. The issues that matter to us and our views on them depend on how we emotionally relate to them. For example, if you are an immigrant, immigration policies may be more important to you because you can empathize with the situation.

  Most of the time, we only hear what we want to hear. It’s like when our parents are right about something, but we don’t want to say they are right, so we go ahead and do something else anyways. Therefore, when we are presented with the same facts, we are able to draw different conclusions.

  According to a scientific study by Charles Taber and Milton Lodge of New York’s Stony Brook University, people’s political reasoning is biased by their emotional view of what’s right and wrong. The subjects first shared their opinions on gun control and affirmative action and were then given a list of arguments used by professional lobbies concerning the issues. When asked to rate the strength of each argument, the subjects overwhelmingly rated the arguments supporting their view stronger. This demonstrates how we value arguments that support our political biases. If they oppose our political affiliations, we turn them away without listening to the value of another viewpoint.

  Our ideology often disconnects us from reasonable judgement. It disables us from seeing the big picture and instead forces us to piece together broken fragments of information that seem “right” and “true.” This human desire for ideology and emotional connection comes at a cost.

  Politicians are supposed to be rational and capable of making the decisions that support the public’s interests. When it comes to voting, there should be no requirement that a candidate’s ideology aligns with your own. The political party that they affiliate with should stand independently and the only thing that should be measured is individual policy. Sometimes the most efficient policy to resolve an issue is conservative and at other times, liberal because no ideology is superior on all matters.

  So when you hand in that ballot, leave your emotional ideology behind. Vote based on who has the better policies. As soon as ideology and emotion is replaced by rationality and logic, our country will be better off for it.