Monday, 28 March 2016

Why populism produces clicks but doesn't win elections

Have you ever considered how strong our resolve to not admit our own faults is? If we uncritically check the patterns that lead us to believing one thing or another, how often will we notice we were following the path that explains and excuses best our falterings. Finding excuses for our acts and for those whom we sympathize with has always been a strong trend for our subconscious. I love that example that obviously made strong  impression to my 4 year self from the kindergarten. After a huge fight erupted and was subsequently calmed down by the teachers they naturally started to trace back to the roots of all evil-the kid that threw the first punch. After few fingers were firmly pointed the defendant had to produce the speech so he brought his view on the incident: "I punched him because he later kicked me". The absurd statement must have struck me deep as it is the earliest memory I keep. The kid was challenged on the moral axis of the problem-the teacher conceded it is ok to defend yourself so she questioned who resorted to violence first. Him trying to find an explanation for the moral side of his act in a rash produced the mistake. What is more important is as the higher authority(the teacher) has put the issue as black and white-hit without being hit equals you are a bad person, he was trying to find an excuse that will put him back on solid track as one of the good guys.

As we grow up our thoughts and concerns tend to get more complicated and so do our excuses. I didn't get PhD because the educational system is fucked up, my business didn't go as planned as there is a lot of corruption in the regulations surrounding it, that girl didn't date me because women like jerks who treat them bad. We search to expand such excuses and as internet of today stands we are bound to find opinions or even studies confirming them. And as we so often see in last couple of years many politicians and media figures try to ride that wave-it's the new wave. The job of both types of entities has always been to tell the masses what they want to hear(in the case of politicians-and do what they please meanwhile, but that s another story). And this is why we have identity politics and why they are so successful. Let's view the problem from the point of those "delivering" the news or promises or politics. You need to speak to a maximum amount of people that you can put under the same brand and give them excuse for their shortcomings. And this is how all of a sudden cultural marxism theories came into play in usually quite anti-communistic America and from there it flooded the World. You are black and not doing well? Systematic racism! You are a woman that couldn't make it in STEM? Sexism and misogyny! The message is simple and resounding-EVERY woman must not be held accountable if she is not faring that well in life or can't get a boyfriend there is an explanation. White men conspired to deprive women of any decent paying job and they have disgusting taste for women. You are black and can't get a job? Well, it s all in the privilege .
Now, quite obviously there are patterns that we, the people try to fight every day that cause exactly the behavior described above. Misogyny can often be explained with similar way of thinking tho expanded in both directions-thinking someone is less capable of you and thus when he performs equally he has to be handicapped or just reversing the ideas and saying that men have it harder. There is tribalism that could be a logical reason behind black population being poorer and having lot less opportunities than their white or asian counterparts-most black people are ancestors of economical migrants or freed slaves and if they stuck to their communities and richer whites stuck to theirs tending to hire or do business with folks that look like them that could be one sound explanation of racial disparity in the US. The thing is those are not things that make men or white people evil, they are part of natural behavior on subconscious level that we must fight through realizing they exist and correcting ourselves when possible. The thing that the hysterical tribunes of the new PC era omit is that we are long gone into that process. One of the uniting points that help us determine the Western civilization is that everywhere in this sphere you go you will see laws defending equality and even many focusing on specifically defending groups of people that have been marginalized in the past. The fight in our heads I referred to above we also undertook long ago. This had lead to a society thriving and tolerant more than any that has existed in human history. My childhood was in the 80s I grew happily without ever thinking any of my female classmates was any different than me. All the evidence shows that said classmates felt the same way and that all the boys in my class were no different than me. So when feminists wave finger at me telling me how in fact men despise and even hate women I m being left puzzled-it harshly contrasts 40 years of living experience.

The fact that we are doing just fine doesn't stop the fame and money hungry from promoting suspicions and often even hatred between groups in society, they are keen to put new artificial dividing lines and spread people on both sides. Donald Trump's rise to prominence is the most obvious moment when such talk backfires.
Trump remains widely indifferent to the race problems not mentioning them and not taking a stance on them. That combined with his nationalistic rhetoric made many to accuse him of racism. Now not sure how american voters view Trump, but weather he is neutral or white racist when his opponents throw statements like the cited above they quite obviously provide ammo for him.

I'm sorry Bernie, but that's not how you do populism-minorities are called minorities for a reason.And if you thought Tumbler wins elections, for now you've been wrong. What I m afraid of is that the day when it does might not be that far in the future.

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