Republicans have different gut feelings than we do, because they use a different mix of the morality spectrum. That's the thesis of a piece called "What Makes People Vote Republican?" It's overly long, but a must-read for anyone working in the fields of persuasion or reconciliation:
Not everyone who votes Republican has been 'duped'. Conservative ideals appeal to some because they reflect heartfelt visions of a 'good society.'The author is a Penn-trained psychologist who has studied morality in the special subculture of politics and come to two conclusions. First, and this is not news, gut feelings trump reason:
[W]hen gut feelings are present, dispassionate reasoning is rare. In fact, many people struggled to fabricate harmful consequences that could justify their gut-based condemnation. [...]
These obviously post-hoc rationalizations illustrate the philosopher David Hume's dictum that reason is "the slave of the passions, and can pretend to no other office than to serve and obey them." This is the first rule of moral psychology: feelings come first and tilt the mental playing field on which reasons and arguments compete. If people want to reach a conclusion, they can usually find a way to do so. The Democrats have historically failed to grasp this rule, choosing uninspiring and aloof candidates who thought that policy arguments were forms of persuasion.
Second, morality differs across cultures, including cultures like R and D:
[M]orality is any system of interlocking values, practices, institutions, and psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate selfishness and make social life possible. It turns out that human societies have found several radically different approaches to suppressing selfishness [...].He goes on to explore five different kinds of morality:
I can't excerpt it further. Go read. And you can test yourself at YourMorals.org.