There have been billions of words sacrificed on the altar of the 2016 Democratic and Republican Presidential nomination contests. Depending upon who you believe either Hillary Clinton or Doanld Trump is the anti-Christ. Maybe both of them are.
Voting Cthulhu for President has never looked so good.
What most people are ignoring is that there are solid reasons for what is happening south of the border.
Lack of Education
Anyone following news in the United States has heard of the term Low Information Voter. Republicans use it to refer to poor Democratic voters. Democrats use it to refer to poor Republican voters.
I use it to refer to most American voters. The United States has the worst educational system of all the Industrialized countries. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you don’t have the information you need to make a decision, or the skills to find that information.
I don’t know why the USA has such a bad educational system compared to the EU nations or Canada. Why doesn’t matter. What matters is the impact. Most Americans are making decisions without the data to make a good decision, which in my opinion is criminal.
Lack of a functioning Democracy
The United States is the only Industrialized nation with a Two Party political system. Having only two parties limits the choices of the electorate. With only two options, you are unlikely to find a party that represents YOU.
Lots of words are wasted on terms like Big Tent, which supposedly means a party that represents a wide range of interests. But…
While a wonderful sounding idea, it is impossible in practice. The range of interests each party supposedly represents often find themselves in opposition on policy. Each time this happens someone looses.
The United States is also the only major Democracy in which the responsibility for running a Federal Election is run by the individual States. This means that the State of Colorado (or any other state) controls which parties will appear on the ballot in that state. This kills the chances of a third party breaking into Congress.
Even if a party has widespread support, it can be blocked. That isn’t very democratic.
There’s also various State laws which appear to exist only to block voters from voting. That also isn’t democratic, and not a good idea in a country where voter turnout is already low, and declining further.
Lack of a functional News Media
Reporting in the United States is fine. The News Media that transmits it to the American voter is not.
Due to consolidation the numbers of news organizations has dropped over the last thirty years. With fewer organizations, fewer stories get reported in.
Independnt blogs and sites have picked up some of the slack. Unfortunately some of these indie blogs and sites are biased, and this impacts the quality of reporting. A lot of the indie blogs and sites have little or no investigative skills (see the section on education). Most of them have no budget to do an investigation either.
So the American voters are under-informed by the Media which claims to exist to inform them.
The Rational Voter who makes decisions based on solid data is a myth. We are all the sum of billions of years of evolution.
This is not bad, it is just the way it is. We react the way we do because we are run by Biological Computers which we call brains. While we are capable of rational thought, we often default to Instinctive Thought.
We usually think that instinct only affects our four legged friends. It affects us too.
We respond to various external cues. Look at how most men respond to Jennifer Aniston. Zero to Full Drool in 1 second.
Tall men with deep voices, curvy women with soprano voices, both are programmed into our genes. It isn’t just sexual cues we respond to, we also respond to others, including those that fall under the generic term Leadership.
We often mistake those cues for something else. A ‘Leader’ can give off cues that he/she is a regular person, the sort you’d happily invite to a barbecue, while in real life he/she might be a tyrant.
We can react to these cues on an unconsciously, without even knowing we are doing it.
Evolutionarily we are a Social species. There are good evolutionary reasons why we would react well to a bad person. If our reaction helps us survive, it has a positive evolutionary outcome.
Wants and Needs
A successful political candidate speaks to the wants and needs of their constituents. That you don’t understand how they do this is irrelevant. What matters is it works.
It doesn’t even matter if it is all a lie, if the candidate gets elected. Hey, they might even do a good job. We don’t know.
All of the candidates have shown the ability to connect with some voters. Those who have dropped out are those who had the least ability in connecting.
None of the candidates is able connect with all voters. When the winnowing is finally completed, and only the two candidates remain, there will be a pool of voters who aren’t attracted to either candidate.
Yes. I know you may think anyone who votes for [INSERT CANDIDATE NAME HERE] is a moron, and you may be telling them this loudly. That sort of thing is unlikely to win any converts.
The way to win converts is to identify why someone supports a specific candidate, and provide them with what they need to support someone else. I’ll leave you to try and determine how to do that!
Saturday March 12, 2016
Update: Fixed link to http://www.cthulhu.org