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Huckleberries Online

Wed., Nov. 6, 2013, 1:07 p.m.

Vestal: Politics Makes Us Dumb

Two questions for the morning after: Who’d you vote against yesterday? And are you feeling smarter yet, now that the fog of politics is lifting? The day after Election Day is, perhaps, not the most opportune time to point this out, but despite our lionization of citizenship and participatory democracy, politics often brings out the worst in us. I don’t mean politics can be a dirty business, though it can. What I’m referring to now is the fact that political battle very literally makes us worse at being people – it makes us less rational creatures. The emerging picture of political influence on the human brain is not promising: Politics turns us into lower-order animals, transforms us into weasels crouched in corners, hungry and desperate and fearful. Makes us dumber and angrier, quick to disgust and slow to admiration, resolutely certain of ourselves and cynically doubtful of others. Facts morph before our eyes/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Do you feel any dumber as a result of being too involved in politics?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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