I stumbled across an interesting op-ed in the New York Times today that provides some scientific support for my earlier blog posting entitled what it was.
In Joshua Friedman’s piece, This Is Your Brain on Politics, an analysis of brain activity is presented based on MRI observations of partisan Democrats and Republicans while watching political ads. He concludes:
This [research] suggests that the passions swirling through elections are not driven by a deep commitment to issues. We are not fighting over the future of the country; we are fighting for our team, like Red Sox and Yankee fans arguing over which club has the better catcher. Both in an election and in baseball, all that really matters is who wears the team uniform.
While this conclusion is essentially the thesis of my blog, what it was, I hesitate to jump on Friedman’s bandwagon because I do not agree that our being and thought can be reduced to nothing more than neurology and brain chemistry. Still, it is kind of interesting that some objective scientific evidence supports what I have been saying for a few years.
I think the evidence of politics as an American spectator sport continues to grow. Witness the reactions to the Presidential election and you see prototypical fan type of reactions. What a shame it is that we treat it as a game, when the stakes are far higher than laying claim to a championship trophy or bragging rights for the coming year.