Avoiding Personality Politics

Avoiding Personality Politics

Sep 21, 2016, 4:12:22 PM Opinion

In a super analogy from Bill Whittle on a recent YouTube video with Stefan Molyneux, Bill outlined a key feature of public politics. The analogy went something like this (paraphrasing here). During the address to the nation by Barack Obama back in 2008, President Obama pointed to a little old lady in the crowd, stating he has an illness that would be terminal, if not for Obamacare (in a nutshell). The point is, he put a character (not to dehumanise this little old lady) to the policy - and created a brilliant strategy for implementing Obamacare. Despite not really expressing the cost, logistics, fall-backs and benefits for all Americans, the system was put in place. If anyone attempted to question any of this, the response would be "so you want this little old lady to die?". Obama became the political Jesus. Emotional connection is a powerful thing in politics. It's the same tactic, used repeatedly in politics and more readily employed by an established government party - and competing parties attempting to use fact and logic in response are failing to gain any support across the media. To be pragmatic, it's that facts are boring and emotions get attention, and career politicians know this. 

US politics for me is fascinating. It's passionate. It's exciting. It's so much more colourful and animated than the pomposity and stiffness of British politics. It's also frighteningly personality-based. It appears that, in order to hold arguably the highest position on earth you need to have strength of character over objectively doing what is best for the nation. It's the good guys vs. the bad guys for most voters. Each one, replying on slander rather than debate. On chanting slogan, rather than spending time on working out how to solve a problem. Relying on your chosen representative to be the embodiment of everything you, your friends and your family stand for - while supporters of the other candidate are simply 'the bad guys' and are not welcome to voice their criticism, even when some policies align, or if your neighbour who is your friend, is a supporter of the other side.

I have seen people label others of being a racist, for simply showing support of Donald Trump. I have seen people being labelled a being dumb, for supporting Hilary Clinton. Adults will understand such labels are vulgar, but open your average facebook feed and you'll see it en mass. The division being created is patently insane for adults to be engaging in, and it's a-la-carte for the media to deliver advertisements to with a cleverly aligned and witty headline. 

Try your best, not to be locked into a political echo chamber. Try not to be pulled into personality politics. Try to see things objectively. If you fear voicing your own opinion, then talk to people who will listen, rationally instead. You don't have to make it public. You don't need affirmation, you just need to be you. Expose yourself to the ideas, and media of the other side to balance out your views. Your vote is important to the future - base it on rationality rather than reaction. 

I don't think there should be government at all, plus I am British so my opinion of either candidate is somewhat irrelevant, but I can see which direction will be quicker to that goal through rationality alone. I'll perhaps put my case forward for this closer to November.  

Published by Amuro Rey

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