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August 23, 2012

Right Wing Brain Shut-down-- Super-Pacs depend on it. Democrats Don't Get it

By Rob Kall

I have a theory about why right wingers have such a seemingly brain-dead response to the lies and BS that the super-pacs put out there.


As this sham of an election process proceeds, I get more and more disgusted every day. Citizens United has emboldened liars to simply put brazen falsehoods out there. I guess they believe that if they say it enough people will believe it. My first thought is that there are enough right wing brain-dead fools who lap up whatever they are fed that this approach is actually working.  The problem is, I know that there are plenty of smart right wingers who are buying the lies, lock stock and barrel. These are not necessarily stupid people. It's almost as though they've turned off their brains. That brings to mind some research and a possible explanation.  

(Image by Rob Kall)   Permission   Details   DMCA

I've been involved in the world of positive psychology for several decades and back in the eighties I did some studies of how people smile, and a review of some others' research. 

I found that some people have much weaker smiles than others. One researcher found that depressed people had stronger frown muscles and weaker smile muscle reactions. 

I was using biofeedback electromyographic, or surface EMG technology to measure smile muscle (zygomaticus) activity. I'd ask a subject to smile as strong as possible, to literally strain, like they were lifting a heavy weight. Some people would produce a 200 microvolt muscle reading. Others would produce a 10 or 20 microvolt reading. That's a huge difference. 

Now here's the very interesting part. If, instead of asking people to strain to produce the strongest smile they could, I simply joked with them, and got them to laugh, the smile they produced was almost always stronger than the strained smile. 

In other words, when people responded naturally, their reaction was stronger than when they were trying their hardest. For the depressed people, it was almost like a part of their brain was subconsiously blocking the full strength of their smiles.

I put together a theory to explain this, based on similar responses that people with stroke or head injury have which keeps them from talking.. Some of those people can't speak, but they CAN sing. Different neural pathways are involved. 

I theorized that the people with the weak smile responses were suffering from self-imposed psycho-motor retardation. They were literally blocking their own smile response. One study in Japan, a nation where facial expression is often masked or diminished as a cultural phenomenon, even found that a percentage of cadavers had atrophied smile muscles. 

So, here's how I apply my smile research to right wingers. They've dulled or blunted their objectivity and heightened parts of their brain that embrace messaging that supports their biases and subconscious, reflexive perceptions. Some brain experts tie this to the amygdala, which acts preconsciously, before the higher brain functions kick in. 

That would mean that lower brain functions-- mammalian or reptilian brain-- are being targeted by the Super-Pacs and by the right wing pundits who push the race, the fear and other anti-Obama, anti-socialism, anti-health care reform buttons. 

Logic and facts don't work if you are dealing with animal brain functions. That's always been a problem for the Democrats. They don't get it that they are competing with persuaders who are a step ahead of them neuro-reflexes-wise. 

I don't know if it is possible to out-do the right wing message machine. They've been building the brain-dead reflexes for years. Now, when I say brain dead, I mean thinking brain, right pre-frontal cortex brain-- the smart part of the human brain. The right wing messaging machine has developed a way to almost totally neutralize it's functioning. That machine uses the entertainment industry, mainstream media and our whole culture. It's a formidable challenge for people who think to overcome. 

Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. 

For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. 

Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

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