Angry Liberals Are Struggling Over How to Celebrate July 4th

Don't be a downer on Independence Day, pleads one Los Angeles Times opinion writer.

July 4, 2017 5:00 am

As feelings of patriotism drop sharply among Democrats after losing the 2016 presidential election, how should disgruntled liberals celebrate the country’s Independence Day? Fly the flag even higher, suggests one Los Angeles Times writer.

“While denouncing the Fourth may be emotionally satisfying, cognitive science suggests it would be politically unwise,” Cassady Rosenblum writes. “People are drawn to positive messages far more than negative ones, even when the negative ones are backed up with facts.”

Rosenblum draws this logic from the teachings of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, the author of The Righteous Mind. In the book, he builds upon the notion that people are fundamentally intuitive, not rational. Haidt argues that politics isn’t about manipulating people into agreeing with you. It’s about learning from them.

“If the left can learn to make the stars and stripes its own, it will appeal to some Trump voters, too,” Rosenblum writes. “The standard liberal response — America was never great — was correct from a civil rights perspective, but also continued to portray liberals as fundamentally irreverent. If Democrats want to win another election, this is an image they must change.”

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