CNN investigates the psychological mystery:
I found that over at Hot Air, where there is scoffing at the liberal network's attitude. Yet I wonder what was so wrong there? Is it that CNN wants to psychoanalyze the interest in right-wing radio? Although I think it is absurd to characterize conservatism as a disease that needs treatment, I am strongly drawn to analyzing why people believe what they do and why they find satisfaction in some ideas and not others. I don't think there is anything more compelling than that, and I've come to realize lately how much this orientation of mine underlies my blogging and my real-world relationships.
Remember when I got into that conflict with libertarians? It was because nothing interested me more than the psychological mechanisms that brought people to libertarianism. The libertarians were insulted and insisted on keeping me at the abstract level of judging their ideas in the terms that they used to state them. I wanted to penetrate into their psyches, and I know that's outrageous and annoying. It does fuel this blog though.
In a conference or a workshop or faculty meeting, when people talk, I never listen only to the ideas they are expressing. I think about the psychology revealed by their choice of words, how long and intensely they speak, their facial contortions and tics, and the look in their eyes. (Revealing typo: I originally wrote "the look in their ideas.") I don't really know what their inner life is, and I realize they may have problems or illnesses or all sorts of secret things that are manifested as they speak, but I am always thinking about who they really are. I imagine how I would develop this character if I were writing a novel.
Now you might ask, following my lead: What is it about my psychology that makes me do that? Good! We are on the same wavelength. I want to think about that too. And I'm not ashamed of this psychoanalytic orientation of mine. What is life for if not to try to understand each other on a deep level? It's much more interesting than politics or law. Or rather: Politics and law are interesting because they spring from our humanity.
So the best question about right-wing radio, in my view, really is: What psychological phenomena cause people to bond with it the way they do?
ADDED: "I heard the voice of america calling on my wavelength, telling me to tune in on my radio... You never let me down...."