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Playground Games and Politics

Playground Games and Politics

“Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.”  -Fulton J. Sheen

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.

What are base emotions?    Fear. Anger. Joy. Sadness. Disgust. Shock.  (Live Brave)  I would argue that jealousy is one of the most very basic emotions, and many Psychologists agree.

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.

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