When I first got involved in politics in the great baseball city of St. Louis, my husband realized I was fragile to the attacks that would inevitably come with political engagement—not only from the left—but from the right who were jockeying for position. He told me something that in my decade plus of psychology studies, no professor had ever professed.
“Gina, people act on their most base emotions. Expect it, and learn to rise above it,” he said. It was great advice, because since then I have stood by as he endured 3 terms in the Missouri house, and two in the Senate. Then I took on the left and became my own playground target.
Looking at this election, and the “Playground Politics” (as Dr. Dathan Paterno and I point to in our new book, Ladies and Gentlemen) pitched out by the left, I believe we could lose our country based upon our gut reaction to political games and our childish reaction to the pitches they toss our way.
The left has not one attack on the right that is not predicated upon those base emotions. Especially as we watch them attack Romney, they are using the playground tactic of jealousy: “Don’t you want what he has?” He is rich. He has a Swiss bank account. He is clean living. He has a beautiful wife and children.
President Obama went so far as to say that someone who has built a company doesn’t even deserve credit—government does. This plays right into the base emotion of jealousy. The left then moves in for yet another base emotional elicitor—the shock component: “This man, who has somehow done something to you by being successful, could be President!”
Since the day my husband warned me about the sophomoric psychological behavior of full grown adults, I have been able to flip it on like a Joe six pack with my remote in my recliner, and enjoy the view of the juvenile games of adults who act like children, and expect us to react to their child like elicitations.
Our founders didn’t. The warriors who fought and died to birth and then save our America acted like adults. It is in that tradition that we must react to the political zingers of the left.
Mr. Romney, admit you are rich. There is NO crime in that! Claim it! Catch their silly pitch right in your mit! Mitt? Tell the whole country that you want us all to be as rich as you! Compare yourself to the most vacationing, golfing, communist, tyrannical president in the history of the republic who has never even held a job in the private sector, met a payroll, or successfully built an empire based on his own merit. Let the American public see what hard work, dedication, and tenacity produces by rolling out your own successes in the private sector. Challenge the American voter to rise up and look beyond the Playground Politics like the way my husband challenged me to mature politically on my maiden political voyage.
Authenticity is not a base emotion, and neither is guts. The American people are hungry for it, and will respond. Bring the game, Mitt! The American people are ready to play ball with you! Batter up…