"First, let me just say: Bullshit!" - Dr. Sanity
"This article tends to end up spouting nonsense." - Shrinkwrapped
"The author, Jay Dixit, is an idiot." - Sigmund, Carl and Alfred
The subject of these accolades is the article "The Ideological Animal" by Jay Dixit, which appears in the current issue of Psychology Today and may be read at the link. An audio interview program by The Sanity Squad, four political bloggers who are also practicing psychologists, produced the reactions quoted above.
Dixit's article featured an interview with Cinnamon Stillwell, who is presented as the prototype of a formerly liberal American who underwent a sudden "political conversion" on September 11, presumably (so the article suggests) as the result of an irrational, fear-based reaction.
Neo-Neocon, who has argued at great length precisely the opposite position - that is, that "A Mind Is a Difficult Thing to Change" - was also interviewed for the article by Jay Dixit, and she recalls that Dixit kept hammering her with questions about "fear", notwithstanding her insistence to the contrary. Her interview was not used for the article.
I was also contacted by Dixit's staff for this article; I replied that I didn't feel I'd undergone a "political conversion" but rather - at most - a subtle and gradual political evolution. But that wasn't what Jay Dixit was looking for.
(More posts on this topic to follow.)