The Lizard Brain: Tea Partisans, Conservatives, Republicans

The “lizard” is a physical part of your brain, the pre-historic lump near the brain stem that is responsible for fear and rage.  So regardless of what the New York Times/CBS poll and the pundits say about the education level of the Tea Partisans, it makes no difference.  They may use their “education” to make a living, but they use their Lizard Brain for everything else, especially their perception of the political world.

According to the poll (taken between April  5 and 12), 94% are angry or dissatisfied with how things are going in D.C.   And 53% are downright ANGRY.   Yet only 19% of all Americans are angry.   So if 19% of Americans are angry and 18% of Americans support the Tea Party, it’s reasonable to deduce that they are one and the same.  Those Angry Americans are either Tea Party activists or are their sympathizers.

The 81% of Americans who are not angry apparently are not “real Americans”.  At least if you believe in the Gospels According to Palin, Beck, Hannity, and O’Reilly. The hootin’ and hollerin’ about being the majority is a figment of their imaginations intended to convince the rest of America that it’s true.

And you certainly wouldn’t guess that that these noisemaking, foot-stomping fringers represent less than 20% of the population by the amount of coverage they get from the Mainstream Media.  But the MSM markets to The Lizard Brain as well.  They call it ratings.

The poll says that among the Tea Partisans there is near-universal criticism of the current administration and government with 88% disapproving  of the job President Barack Obama is doing and 96% disapproving of how Congress is handling its job.   Might that be because two-thirds of Tea Partisans say that in recent elections they have usually or always voted Republican?   And 73% self-identify as conservative with 39% identifying as VERY conservative.  That’s what you call pretty solid correlations, folks.

63% of Tea Party identifiers say they get most of their political and current events news on television and from Fox News Channel, compared to only 23% of Americans who say they watch Fox for politics.  And they think favorably about Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck (66% and 59% respectively).  When asked who they trust for information, 45% say they trust other Tea Party supporters.   Put Fox News, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and “other supporters” all together and you get one whopping big echo chamber!

Few Americans think the views of the Tea Party movement reflect those of most in the country – just a quarter do.  But 84% of Tea Party supporters say their views are in line with most Americans.  Since psychological projection appears to be in the DNA of rightwing conservatives, this comes as no surprise.

TPers are most likely to come from the South and are 89% white, 59% male, and 76% have incomes over $50,000.  Oddly, 85% say that the recession has either not caused major life changes or has not had much effect at all.   Yet they’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.  Next time the New York Times/CBS pollsters should take a deeper look at the psychology of the Tea Partisans and perhaps the counter-intuitive aspects of who they are and what they think will be more enlightening and useful.

Finally and most disturbing is the 24% who believe that violent action against the government could be justified.  It only takes a few to blow up a building and take human life.  Remember Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier.  It not only could happen here, it did.

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