dilemmanade
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
  Clinton v. Trump

Humans are thoroughly irrational creatures. All our supposed rationality is a rickety structure, built as it is on foundations of illogic. (See Sociological Insight by Collins.) Mostly we decide first, and then engage in motivated reasoning to find rationalizations for our decisions. (Not you, of course, or me...)

Humans do hero worship. (That there should even be such a thing as a celebrity-- someone who's famous for being famous-- is telling.) It's natural, even if it's irrational. It is a modern equivalent of "Who's popular at court?"

And we define ourselves by our heroes, we identify with them, they are our avatars. "Leave Brittainy alone" is "Leave me alone, stopping picking on me."

People at political rallies are a lot like people at sporting events, or people at a concert: identification with a hero, solidarity with the crowd based on shared identification with the hero.

A certain type of person is interested in politics and policy. Let's call them Politisports Fans. Politisports Fans like to talk and argue with each other about politisports. There are relatively few of them, but they don't realize how rare they are because they mostly only talk to each other.

The vast majority of people, unlike Politisports Fans, know little and understand less of government and politics, though many of them vote. Let's call this group Regular People. Regular People don't talk to each other about politics much. They talk about sports, the weather, food and celebrities. That kind of stuff.

What's funny is that Politisports Fans try to make sense of regular people through measurements appropriate to measuring Politisports Fans: What policy is important to them? What do they think of tax reform? Pollsters poll them and people answer, but it's so much fluff. They pick their heroes and then learn to repeat some slogans: Taxes are too high! There's too much regulation! Yes, we can!

The election, for Regular People, boils down to: Who is your favorite gladiator, Clinton or Trump?

 
Thursday, August 04, 2016
  To: Our Governing Elite

To: Our Governing Elite

From: The Unwashed Masses

Re: Boaty McBoatface and Trump

The Boaty vote doesn't prove that we the unwashed masses can't be trusted with democracy, it proves we can't be trusted with mock democracy, like American presidential elections.

Let's get this out in the open: You merely pretend to represent us.

You do not represent the uninsured or even the insured; you represent the insurance companies. That is why we have Obamacare instead of universal health care like they have in civilized countries.

You do not represent workers; you represent the corporations. That's why we have free-for-all trade agreements and the outsourcing and offshoring of jobs.

You do not represent victims of the Great Financial Breakdown of 2008; you represent the bankers who brought it to us. That's why banks were bailed out instead of the people screwed over by them.

You do not represent the rural population; you represent WalMart. That's why so many small towns in America have turned into ghost towns.

In short, you represent the 1%. We know that, you know that.

So once in a while we act up and elect pro wrestlers, movie stars, or nutballs. We're just having fun at your expense and refusing to take the thing seriously.

Granted, sometimes it really does have bad consequences. We know you're wetting your pants at the thought of a Trump presidency.

We're enjoying that.

But don't worry. We'll end up voting for Hilary.

Probably.

 
When life gives you dilemmas, make dilemmanade.

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