Politics

The Spot: Get angry, politicians will thank you


Car rally at the State Capitol ...
Andy Cross, The Denver Post

A May 2020 rally in front of the Colorado Capitol called for essential worker rights. The Colorado AFL-CIO was part of it. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

“Unions don’t typically take such a concrete step,” but the Colorado AFL-CIO did this week.

Angry politicians create angry voters who are more likely to help the angry politicians by electing them, donating to them and parroting their angry messages.

The feedback loop of outrage that provides short-term benefits for powerful politicians and long-term harm to American politics is the thesis of a new paper by two researchers — Carey Stapleton at the University of Colorado Boulder and Ryan Dawkins at the Air Force Academy. They studied the reactions of 1,500 people who listened to a congressional debate on immigration.

Fiery messages from like-minded candidates made voters angrier and more disgusted with politics, especially if the voters were not committed to one political party. The irate messages also made them more likely to donate their time and money to the angry candidate’s campaign.

“If political elites were to change the emotionality in their speeches, this might have a direct influence on lowering general levels of anger in the politics,” Stapleton and Dawkins wrote. “Strategically, however, that seems unlikely. Politicians benefit from having angry supporters.”

Stapleton told The Post he’s long been intrigued by anger in politics, even writing his doctoral dissertation on the topic. He places blame on political elites but also opinion leaders in media and on social media sites, whose algorithms tend to promote the loudest, angriest posts.

“There are short-term benefits to voters being angry but the long-term implications are not very good: distrust, a lack of compromise and, when taken to the extreme, violence and riots and what we saw on Jan. 6. It turns into something that is uncontrollable,” he said.

Stapleton sees no easy solution for lowering political blood pressures, because politicians, commentators and social media companies must police themselves. But as the paper published  in Political Research Quarterly makes clear, that’s unlikely to happen soon.

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Top Line
Andy Cross, The Denver PostA May 2020 rally in front of the Colorado Capitol called for essential worker rights. The Colorado AFL-CIO was part of it. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

“Unions don’t typically take such a concrete step,” but the Colorado AFL-CIO did this week. No donations to Democrats until May 2022.

Capitol Diary, Part I • By Saja Hindi
2022 Statehouse races are shaping up

Colorado House Rep. Dylan Roberts of Avon announced this week that he is seeking term-limited Kerry Donovan’s seat in the state Senate in 2022.

Preliminary redistricting maps would have moved Roberts out of House District 26, a role he’s held for three consecutive terms representing Eagle and Routt counties. Instead, the draft maps pitted him against Democratic incumbent Rep. Julie McCluskie in House District 61.

So far, five Republicans and seven Democrats have declared their candidacy for 2022 elections for state Senate seats, according to Colorado Secretary of State’s Office records. In the House, it’s 16 Democrats, six Republicans and one from the Unity Party.

Roberts, along with Donovan and …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Politics

      

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