The Political Brain – A Must Read

I’m not going to write a genuine review of Drew Westen’s The Political Brain. But if you’re a Democrat or a Liberal or a Progressive or someone suffering from a related disease, you have got to read this book.

The subtitle is “The role of emotion in deciding the fate of the nation” and the guy lays out an absolutely convincing case about who wins elections and why, and shows how to win.

[From the cover blurb.] Westen is a clinical, personality, and political psychologist, and Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University, as well as the founder of Westen Strategies, a political and corporate consulting firm.

Disclaimer: I’m on page 145 of a book that’s over 450 pages. But the guy is just so spot on over and over again that I don’t hesitate to recommend the book.

What he says just feels absolutely right. Get it from the library. Hide in a corner of the bookstore and read. If nothing else, read starting at the bottom of page 129 the response he suggests Gore should have made to Bush in their first debate when Bush called Gore a liar. We’d be living in a different world if Gore had actually responded as Westen suggests.

3 Responses

  1. I did hear something about this book but was a little turned off by how the premise was explained to me (maybe I got it wrong) – that the liberals should be using the same tactics that conservatives figured out long ago? It seems like he’s more concerned with pandering to get votes than being on the correct side of an issue.

    Not that I disagree with how he said Gore should have responded to Bush. That was great! There are a number of things Gore should have done differently – as has been true for most liberals for the past quarter century. Number 1 – quit running from who you are – show the public why you are that way. People read through bullshit so just say “Yep, I’m a freaky weird hippy liberal who grew up and I STILL believe these things and THIS is why”!


  2. The difference between those guys and the good guys is that they use the emotional process to lie, to misrepresent, to distort.

    Westen isn’t saying Democrats et al should do that, but should understand and use the process to sell their issues and programs. Liberals can tell the truth because they’re usually on the good and constructive side of issues. Conservatives can’t tell the truth. They’re destructive and frankly they’re against the best that America is and can be.

    It’s not the technique that’s bad. It’s the misuse of it. Think Goebbels.


  3. […] Grumpy Lion […]


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