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Your political orientation

You’re a team player, right? Did you rationally choose to join your partisan team? Or did your needs choose for you?


Recent social science, like that presented by moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, upends the long held view that your political views get routinely molded by reasoning. Jonathan Haidt refers to this as the rationalist delusion. He illustrates how we use motivated reasoning to justify our already held moral views.


Moral arguments do not shape your political views as much as you may think. Arguments appeal to you when they fit your needs, and repel you when perceived to go against your needs. The needs themselves come first. Political arguments come after the fact of what you need differently from your opponents.


You oppose their arguments primarily because they seem to go against what you and your group needs. It’s about which arguments serve which needs, and whose needs. Your moral arguments, declaring what is right and wrong, provide the hard shell over the soft insides of your raw needs.


Your needs leave you feeling vulnerable, don’t they? Arguments embolden you to express those needs. It’s easier to identify and express a vulnerable need when you know others share your experience. Hope is in sight. Because you know they experience the same psychosocial orientation as you.


It's not just politics


You trust others to have your back when sharing your same experience of needs. That’s basically the whole point behind everyone’s politics. Your political orientation serves as the outward guarded expression of your inward vulnerably felt psychosocial orientation. It’s more about each other’s unalterable needs than their adjustable arguments.


Political arguments guard your vulnerability. They appear flexible, amiable, and quite reasonable in social circles. They let you avoid the discomfort of exposing your inflexible, insistent, and awkwardly irrational needs.


Political arguing tends to be reductive, and needlessly divisive. Politics lets you generalize about how best to ease those needs, and the stubborn needs behind those needs.


As emotions personally generalize your needs, politics publically generalize your needs. Much like generalizing emotions, generalizing politics easily elicits disagreement. Because you experience common needs like security and inclusion quite differently from those with an opposing political orientation.


Here’s a major difference to consider. Those stuck with politics-as-usual will be ill prepared for the competitive advantage you will soon unleash upon them.


Now you can let those fickle political winds blow in your favor. Before others judge you harshly, let us help you critically appraise yourself, and unpack your untapped potential to connect more deeply with voters.



Appraising your psychosocial-political orientation


Obviously, if you’re more deep-focused you will readily connect with other deep-focused folks. If you’re more wide-focused you will readily connect with other wide-focused folks.


Less obvious is how you can make the most of your psychosocially shaped political orientation. So I’m adapting a tool from my strategic planning background to this cause. The tool lets you appraise your strengths, vulnerabilities, opportunities, and risks. Or SVOR for short.


You may have already received a copy, and it directed you here. We provide a version for each side of the aisle.


Consider it a standard appetizer to a full course meal. Your needs will help decide what’s on the menu.


First, let’s orient you to this need-based tool for assessing

  • your political strengths,

  • your political vulnerabilities,

  • your political opportunities, and

  • your political risks.


Then later you can decide how to best apply your pioneering awareness.


Of course, the process is much more complex than briefly represented here. For a more thorough treatment, please check out the eCourse at Udemy, starting with the free previews. If you're on a tight budget, ask me about any available discounts. I trust it will open doors for you in ways you’ve never seen before.

Your political orientation - Steph Turner

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