I know it because it is working on me and I guess it is working to some degree on everyone who follows state and local politics. And the more closely one follows politics, the more information one wishes to accumulate in order to make an informed vote, the more confusion, frustration, and embarrassment one experiences, the more it seems to be working.
What is “It”? What am I talking about?
“It” is all the energy that is being expended to obfuscate reality and often turns the more attentive citizens away. Driving out all the rational citizens, those who desire the truth, not propaganda lightly salted with truth but the full truth supporting or destroying our presuppositions, that is the object of the exercise. That’s “It!”
How does that benefit those who practice it? Well, those having the most stalwart, the most loyal base of supporters, the “they may be slime, but they are our slime since we voted them in” crowd which can never acknowledge an electoral error, they are the ones who benefit when the rational citizens, not so dedicated to one side regardless of events, are driven away from elections.
We can take comfort that these loyal cadres of voters unwilling to evaluate information detrimental to their positions are almost never in the majority, hence the need for “It”. But when “It” succeeds in driving off the citizens who look deeper and want more information, fewer voters win elections.
How often have we seen this race to the tails of the veracity bell curve where lies, misinformation, falsehoods, alternate truths, call them what you will, propagated by each end of the political spectrum work, usually simultaneously, to cloud whatever truth is extant such that the results confuse the rational enough to aid the proliferators?
Since we all know this happens, what are we to do? Give up by giving in? Adopting one of those pathetic slogans (i.e. “I never vote, it just encourages them.”) that so often identifies those citizens most deeply hurt when their chosen politician deceived them so completely? I hope not, but as I said, it’s working on me.
So, once again, what should we do? Each of us gets to make up our own mind. We are not forced to support nor abandon one candidate, one group, one party. We are not even forced to make a decision. We can simply vacate ourselves from the process. And then “They” win.
I have often opined that the individual candidates cannot be trusted since we all know that above the county level, politicians will say one thing today and do the opposite tomorrow if they think it will enhance their election/re-election chances. But, I have some faith in party politics, being slower and more resistant to modification, providing some less flexible foundation upon which we can place our hopes for “a more perfect union”.
I’ll freely admit that, perhaps like you, I have thought of all those rationalizations that would excuse my failure to keep up with the information one requires to cast a well-informed vote, and then use that to excuse my failure to vote altogether. All those excuses from, “What can I possibly believe in the face of absolutely contradictory information distributed by entities of equally credible reputation?” to, “What difference can my vote possibly make among so many other votes?”
And one reason, sometimes the only reason to listen carefully to proffered information and then to use whatever seems most truthful to influence our vote is simply to be able to say, “They didn’t beat me.”
SO, when you consider voting, are “They” going to win, or what?