The Independent Whig

The Independent Whig has written 383 posts for The Independent Whig

What if left and right were different races?

What if research revealed that the political left and right are different races? Would we act differently toward one another? Should we? If so how? Here’s the thing. They might be. Or at least, insofar as the law and social standards are concerned, they essentially are. Bear with me while I explain. Race is about … Continue reading

My Position: Why I Write, and What I’m Trying to Say

This is an update of a Twitter thread I wrote, with minor edits for typos and one or two addenda for clarity. 1/ I want to try to explain yet again my position. This is important, as it goes to the heart of a great deal of what I say here. 2/ @JonHaidt’s concept of … Continue reading

How Reason Makes Us Cruel

Conscious reason is a double-edged sword. It helps and it harms. Today I’m focusing on how it harms. My brother-in-law passed away on January 29th, 2020 from pancreatic cancer. Afterward his wife related an insight she gained from being his primary caregiver during his final months. She said “Our brains expect today to be like … Continue reading

My Most Important Follows

In which I share interesting trivia about people who are important to me. March 26, 2020.  The #See10Do10Challenge on Twitter reminds us to stay fit while we’re isolated at home during the Corona Virus pandemic. Participants film themselves doing 10 pushups and then post the video on Twitter along with the Twitter names of friends … Continue reading

It’s Worse Than It Looks: What Most People Don’t Understand About the Partisan Divide

It is NOT TRUE that the partisan divide is a struggle between similar people who happen to vote differently. It IS TRUE that it is between different kinds of people. The implications of this are enormous. The primary factor that differentiates the two kinds of people is cognitive style – operating system, if you will, … Continue reading

The Deal We’ve Made With Each Other

If we step back from it all and try to view ourselves from the perspective of an outer-space alien anthropologist we see that religions, ideologies, moralities, political parties, the animosities among them, all of it, is downstream from the tribal righteous minds natural selection has given us. Of which we are almost universally oblivious, like … Continue reading

How to Bridge the Divide: The Moral Foundation of Meaning/Indifference

We humans have a deep-seated need to feel heard. Being heard confers meaning, purpose, to one’s existence. It makes us feel like we matter. Not being heard denies us these things; makes us feel like we don’t matter.  People on both sides of the political aisle feel that they’re not being heard, which causes them to lash out. This explains much of … Continue reading

Evidence of the Heart: A Cry for Meaning

A friend of mine, Jochen Weber, whom I met at the first Heterodox Academy Open Mind conference, wrote this. I liked it so much I asked him if it would be OK if I posted it on my blog.  He said yes.  Here it is: It happened very much by chance, and it was a … Continue reading

The Tyranny of Reason

  The first principle of moral psychology is intuition comes first and reasoning follows, where “follows” means both 1) comes after and 2) takes direction from.  All reasoning is motivated reasoning, the purpose of which is to justify, defend, profess, and persuade others of, our own intuitive sense. And yet, practically all social and political … Continue reading

The Blame for Partisan Divisiveness Starts With Early Education

Kids score higher on reading comprehension tests when they have prior knowledge of the material they’re reading than when they don’t. Kids with “bad” reading comprehension score about the same as kids with “good” reading comprehension when neither group has prior knowledge of the material. By the time they get to college most kids have … Continue reading

I Support Viewpoint Diversity


A politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities. We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.

An Interpretation of Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory

This sidebar lists a series of posts which together make up an essay relating Moral Foundations Theory to today's politics, and even a little history, as viewed through The Independent Whig's six-foundation moral lens.


Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Traits and Moral Foundations and