This is really interesting. Below is an except from the XX Factor column in Slate.com. You can read the full report here: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haid...t08_index.html

I'm intrigued by this interpretation, from psychology professor Jonathan Haidt on Edge ... about why people vote Republican. Haidt points out that mostly liberal academic psychologists have concluded that "conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death." And then right when he is about to lose me, for seeming pat and condescending, he writes:
"our diagnosis of conservatism gives us the additional pleasure of shared righteous anger. ... Our diagnosis explains away Republican successes while convincing us and our fellow liberals that we hold the moral high ground. Our diagnosis tells us that we have nothing to learn from other ideologies, and it blinds us to what I think is one of the main reasons that so many Americans voted Republican over the last 30 years: they honestly prefer the Republican vision of a moral order to the one offered by Democrats."
and
"the second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way. When Republicans say that Democrats 'just don't get it,' this is the 'it' to which they refer."
I don't entirely understand why Democrats haven't generally persuaded more voters in the middle that they're also about binding people together. That's what Barack Obama's community organizer past was about, and yet somehow that job description was treated as a bad word at the Republican convention. But I think Haidt's framing of the challenge is useful. And humble, which is a nice change of pace from all the campaign clattering this week.
A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

-Mohandas Gandhi