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In our ‘emocracy,’ emotions rule

Niall Ferguson
 

By Niall Ferguson (original source Boston Globe)

We no longer live in a democracy. We live in an emocracy — where emotions rather than majorities rule and feelings matter more than reason. The stronger your feelings — the better you are at working yourself into a fit of indignation — the more influence you have. And never use words where emojis will do.

There was a time when appeals to emotion over facts were regarded as the preserve of the populist right. But truthiness — the quality of being ideologically convenient, though not actually true — is now bipartisan. On a recent “60 Minutes,’’ Anderson Cooper confronted freshman congresswoman and social media sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with some of her many factual errors. Her reply was that of a true emocrat: “I think,” she replied, “that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”

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