The Simple Psychological Trick to Political Persuasion
by Olga Khazan, the Atlantic
Conservatives are more likely to support issues like immigration and Obamacare if the message is “morally reframed” to suit their values.
Ever since Donald Trump handed down his executive order temporarily halting all immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations for three months and barring refugees from Syria indefinitely, the social-media outpouring from liberals has focused, understandably, on how unfair the policy is to Muslims.
Yes, this is a refugee family in handcuffs, in America, for being muslim. That little girl? Handcuffed.
History will judge us very harshly. pic.twitter.com/KIR50K64ZO
— Amir (@amiraminiMD) January 31, 2017
Those are poignant, strong arguments against the policy. But according to one fascinating line of psychological research, they’re not likely to work on conservatives.
“These refugees and immigrants are just like our family members who came to America in years past to seek a better life. All our ancestors wanted was to live the American dream, and that’s why today’s immigrants and refugees have chosen to come to America, so they too can live that same American dream that brought our families here. That dream is what our nation was founded on, it is what brought our grandparents and great-grandparents to this great land, and it is the great success story that these immigrants want to be a part of.”
It’s a message high on patriotism and loyalty—two “moral frames” that research shows are more important to conservatives than are traditionally more liberal values, like reciprocity and caring.
(Perhaps this would be wise to consider when we contact our more Conservative elected officials, such as Collins or Poliquin; rather than focusing on what’s fair and equal, we focus on what’s healthy and good for prosperity. Keep Resisting -L)
Painting: “Union Refugees” by George W. Pettit, 1865