Charles Hayes: How disturbing a notion that many of our daily behaviors are reliably predictable. How disappointed would you be to discover that some scientist could study the details of your life and then accurately predict the things you will do or say in the near future?
Charles Hayes: Republicans are celebrating the 2010 Census because it reflects a gain in congressional seats in traditionally conservative states, but it would be wise of them to realize that a significant number of these people are moving because they can’t find work. Many of them have lost their homes to foreclosure, and if the Republican Party doesn’t get a clue pretty soon, these states may turn a brighter shade of purple with a tint of blue.
If a person is uneducated to such a degree that articulating their political views rationally and coherently is not possible, then emotion is all they can bring to the table. If a person knows little of history and little of the dynamics of human behavior and politics, then any and all arguments that they don’t fully understand are perceived as an assault on their identity.
Charles Hayes: Today I feel very differently about the Vietnam War than I did in my youth, but my own feelings of guilt during that time give me a unique kind of insight into the psychology of courage and commitment. America has never had a shortage of courageous citizens willing to take up arms and fight to the death for reasons and causes beyond their own understanding. Arlington Cemetery in Virginia serves as proof. But my sense of the decades since the end of World War II is that America has and is experiencing a courage crisis of shameful origin and of tragic consequence.
Charles D. Hayes: Both liberals and conservatives choose relating over reasoning at times, but research shows that conservatives place much more value on in-group loyalty than liberals do. There is plenty of research data to back up this assertion; one doesn’t have to resort to anecdotal evidence of flag waving and lapel pens, although it’s hard not to notice such behavior.
As a longtime resident of Wasilla, Alaska, I wonder if my hometown will ever escape its current association with partisan politics in the minds of people elsewhere. More specifically, will the American public ever be able to engage in an adult conversation about end-of-life medical issues? Too many people, it seems, don’t realize that death [...]