After Newtown, Gauging Emotions' Pull In American Politics

Apr 8, 2013

Most political arguments are about authority, in the sense of "Who's wielding it right now?" and "Where does it truly reside?" 

In pre-Enlightenment Europe, the authority of church and state were merged and there was therefore an easy answer. The King has the authority, because the King is right, and the King is right because he rules at God's pleasure.  Part of the upheaval that led, eventually, to the founding of this country, was based on that notion that all people are endowed with the ability to perceive -- through reason, if you will -- what is right and what is wrong. And if your mind tells you the king is wrong and something else is right, go with your mind.  It's less clear where an individual's emotions fit in, back in the 18th century. But today, emotions seem to rule many of our political choices. That's our topic today.   You can join the conversation. E-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.