In Brief—An examination of the way flawed human nature affects how most voters react and vote.
Never Underestimate Human Stupidity (Albert Einstein)—
Did you ever notice in one of those nature films how a massive shimmering school of fish will suddenly change direction and move in the opposite direction? That’s much like humans react. It’s not a rational decision but a herd mentality reaction based on what the manipulators say is the right thing to do. We see it in the stock market, at the local mall and in the voting booth.
Good examples of this phenomenon today are the fear-mongering right-wing Republican clowns running for president in America, the inevitability and reasonability of Hillary Clinton, Marine Le Pen’s far right-wing National Front in France and most national leaders throughout Europe who, like their citizens, are gripped with unreasoning fear at the influx of desperate fleeing refugees.
Humans are evolved creatures who assembled in groups for a variety of reasons relating to survival. The herd behavior is part of human nature. Fear is the motivator of the herd.
One of the group became the leader. Normal aggressiveness underlain by fear led to attacks on weaker groups, the formation of tribes and ethnic groups, different religious beliefs, wars and the eventual evolution into the societies of today. And always there were the ones who stood apart and weighed the wisdom of following the dictates of the fearful powerful and the majority of followers.
So how does this relate to the voter? That requires a journey into human psychology.
Years of research and many books show that a person will cling to a belief even when faced with proof that his/her belief is mistaken. Certainly religious belief in a supernatural being described as good, all-seeing and all-powerful is one such irrational belief. Denial of human-caused global climate change is another. Belief that President Barack Obama is a foreign-born Muslim is a false belief. Belief that the Planned Parenthood organization commits crimes by providing constitutionally-protected abortions is yet another deliberate lie. Belief that all Muslims are terrorists puts us knee-deep in falsehood. The believers construct false narratives, even engage in outright fraud, to support their flawed beliefs.
As suggested by the title of this piece, the people holding these false beliefs vote. That’s downright scary. They carry those fear-driven harmful beliefs into the voting booth. Telling themselves that the tripe they choose to believe is true, they elect duplicitous politicians who try to force the rest of us to march to their dangerous belief system.
Too many voters are like that school of fish. They believe what they want to believe regardless of the fact that they are wrong. It’s either that or they’re too lazy to check the facts themselves. They forfeit their independent right to reason and decide without supporting evidence whether that story or that politician is telling the truth. It’s just easier to let someone else do their thinking for them. School of fish.
Everywhere there’s the false and dangerous belief that desperate refugees, many of whom are Muslims, are driving that human school of fish to react in irrational fear by voting for extremist political parties and politicians who advance their own duplicitous cause by stoking irrational herd fear. It is happening in America and many European countries. Masses of voters abandon reason to follow a Pied Piper who promises safety from terrorism, the very safety the overwhelming majority those refugees are seeking, whether Muslim or not. School of fish.
Think rationally. Put yourself in that refugee’s shoes. Try a little compassion; it’s in those holy books. Don’t be one of the fish in that school of fish.