The Arrested Emotional Development of Liberals

As Obama’s historical presidency looks more and more like an historical wreck, and as he faces serious opposition from House Conservatives in the Obamacare war, it’s useful to consider what’s really behind the hypersensitivity, inflammatory rhetoric, and intense fear displayed by him and all the other Liberals.

September 20, 2014

“If you’re not liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not conservative when you’re older, you have no brain.” ~Winston Churchill

Blond Boy Crying There is a lot of evidence supporting the theory that Liberalism is attractive to individuals with some degree of arrested social, emotional, or intellectual development.  Let’s start with human brain development. Executive Functioning is centered in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and determines judgment, risk-taking behavior, selfishness vs. otherness, and higher thinking processes such as political and religious philosophy.  These parts of the brain are not fully formed until age 25 in most people.  Social, emotional and intellectual maturation can continues for years beyond the mechanical maturation of the brain, if the individual nurtures the process through learning and serious self-assessment.

Impulsiveness, emotionalism, selfishness and a lack of the ability to comprehend cause and effect result when when Executive Functioning is not developed. Emotional regulation is part of executive functioning.  Crimes, especially violent crimes, are typically committed by young men.

The majority of residents in American prisons are young men aged 18-25.   The majority of women in prison are also relatively young, aged 18-30.  The brains of youth, especially those raised in a permissive or morally ambiguous atmosphere, are malleable and of lack self regulation. Liberalism seems has evolved to appeal to people whose brains are not fully actualized. Centralized command and control government is attractive to people who want an outside presence; a parent figure, to take charge of some basic functions of life, such as physical security, financial resources, public spaces and activities, etc. Liberalism, which is liberal with government power, but stingy with individual liberty and accountability, is the political philosophy of choice for people who are emotionally young–childish. That’s one reason why the best agitators–the “community organizers,”–always demanding goods and services from tax payer-funded government entities, are Liberals.

Erickson’s Stages of Psycho-social Development correlate observable behavior with certain, predictable stages of emotional growth.  The characteristics displayed by political Liberals align quite well with these developmental stages:

School Age Children (6 to 12 years) Industry vs. Inferiority,  in which children experience feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among their peers and, thus, seek ways to diminish the relative importance of others and increase their own power through tattle-telling, attention-seeking and bullying.

Erickson’s Adolescent Stage (12 to 18 years) Identity vs. Role Confusion, is also a stage in which some Liberals are stuck.  This is the age of identity formulation, learning to negotiate, and developing moral sensibilities.  The moral sensibilities in this stage are based largely upon what works for the individual. Children of this age can appear to be justice seekers, but the form of justice may be that which fits their own interests and ethical paradigm with little consideration for the well-being of others. They are unable to conceptualize that others who are unlike them can actually be good.  It is the classic black and white thinking of a child; we are good so those who are different must be bad.   They are limited in their comprehension of cause and effect and so act like children, accusing without cause and condemning without evidence, their ideological adversaries.  These are prototypical attributes of  arrested development. Through trauma, bad parenting, poor socialization, substance abuse, or simple biological pre-disposition, individuals are unable to grow and develop emotionally beyond the childish stage at which they are stuck.

Liberals’ lack of tolerance for debate, their destructive policies,  opportunism, and their capacity to displace morality with political expediency, are largely attributable to delayed psycho-social development.  There’s a multiplicity of explanations for this stunted maturation including early drug use, poor parenting models, environmental and biological influences, and generational government dependency.  This places upon the Conservative movement the additional burden of fighting life-or-death political battles as well as, literally, being the adults in the room.

by Marjorie Haun 9/20/14

  1. Scoticus

    I thought it was accurate, although I don’t relate to the Churchill quote because I have always been a conservative – although you’re probably referring to moral liberalism. Still, I did not protest the war in Vietnam or destroy public property when I was in college. I used my common sense and realized most young people who were protesting just didn’t want to go into battle and get their ass shot off. They acted like they were against killing others but I think they were just scared and didn’t see why we should fight and die in a foreign war. They were spoiled and immature. I had a draft number but never got drafted and wanted to stay in college – but if I had been drafted I woukd have gone. Today we have an all volunteer army. Can you imagine the fit young liberals would have if we reinstated the draft? Anyway, RG, good job.

    • I think it is referring more to the liberality of heart. You know how young people tend to be attracted to feel-good causes like “save the whales” and “animal rights”. We are all a little stuck in the fantasy of, “if I am a good person, kind to animals and people, the world will be a better place” when we enter young adulthood. The thing that signals maturation is to accept the realities, good and bad, of the world and to adapt and cope in a way that is beneficial to ourselves and society in general. I agree with the observation about the Vietnam war protesters. They were out for their own interests, unconcerned about the guys who were really dying. After all, the actions of Hanoi Jane ended up killing many of our servicemen in Vietnam. She is a great example of the sheltered, spoiled, arrogant and egoistic left who, in their own eyes, can do no wrong.

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  4. […] Source: The Arrested Emotional Development of Liberals « Abnormal Psychology « […]

  5. Excellent. Well written, not so technical that laymen cannot follow it easily, yet still gives informative and clear explanations which give perspective on why young people are susceptible to liberalism, and on how liberals think and what drives their actions.
    I have observed the lack of reasoning, near absence of critical thinking, and impulsive emotional outbursts of liberals. When presented with facts and pressed to explain their reasoning, their inadequacy to the task frustrates them. They respond in anger, claiming victimhood, lashing out with pejoratives, ad hominem attacks, etc. They claim victory and storm off. As a group liberals seem to have adapted to the bankruptcy of their policies by talking about their intentions, as if that is good enough. They are “Liberals”, and therefore their position is the correct one; that their policies are abject failures which only create worse problems is not just secondary but insignificant in their eyes. Their answer to the problems their big government policies produce is to form a committee with more good intentions, and form a new agency to formulate more policies to create more problems. On and on, ad infinitum.
    Well, I got off the subject there. Anyway, great article.

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