(Note: The short version will soon appear on Political Storm. Unlike so many blogging sites, my own has no word limit. And, by the way, you are welcome to submit guest blogs if you think they will fit. The latter also goes for Political Storm.)
Let’s imagine this scene: one guy sees nothing but yellow paint before him. He yells, “It’s a yellow ocean!” His brother is standing a few feet back and has a bigger piece of the whole picture. He says, “No, it’s a yellow truck.” Which of the two would you say got it right?
Let’s imagine another scene: in the news, a man is screaming for help to get out of a cesspool. A guy in a private jet comments, “No way! People swim in swimming pools, not cesspools. Why should anyone help you?” Another guy sipping wine on his nice patio, in the back of his nice house, in the suburbs, bought with his well-paying job, agrees, “Yep. That sounds right. A swimming pool, it is! And I didn’t push you in. No need for me to be concerned.” Meanwhile the guy who fell into the cesspool screams, “For the love of God, help me out of here! I’m drowning in all the piss and feces! Please help!”
Who would you say got this one right?
The different people in these scenarios live in different perception bubbles. Each has a view of a different part of the world. So, when they argue about the nature of this world, they consider each other ignorant.
I see this happening a lot in our politics.
Some ninety percent of our country are clamoring for badly-needed help. The top 1% either won’t hear them in their palaces and private jets or they tell them their problems aren’t real. The roughly 9% in between more often than not agree with the 1% because they, too, have not experienced the world the bottom 90% live in. Whether they are “Republican” or “Democrat,” they are too established to know the non-established life. And, yes, many of them say things like the poor are themselves to blame for a society which creates poverty or that the poor only need to get a better education and millions of high-pay jobs will magically materialize out of thin air. It’s easy to be delusional when it suits your own comfort. And it’s easy not to see the whole picture when you don’t even try.
And so we consider each other ignorant and fall into quarreling.
Made vulnerable by our bubble-blindness, we then easily fall for false-friend political candidates and their bogus issues and artificial dividers, often created or inflamed by demagogues working for the 1% in their “think tanks”, political office, or the corporate media: gender, race, sexuality, and others, or … the really clever one: “conservatives” versus “progressives.” Even the 1% believe the demagogues, after a while. They’re so convincing. The propaganda the oligarchs paid for and which is so convincingly crafted comes back at them like a boomerang. Of course, it is easy for them to believe: after all, if your belief justifies the social injustice from which you greatly profit, it makes it so much easier to continue that way. The sad thing is that so many who suffer from the injustice fall for the brainwashing, as well.
But let me ask you: Do you know anyone who wants nothing in the world to ever change? We are ALL progressive!
And do you know anyone who doesn’t want to preserve something good? Heck no! Especially as we get older, we want to preserve things. We are ALL conservative!
This whole spiel about a “conservative” party whose platform you must support against your own interests, even when you are part of the 90%, is one of the slickest tricks ever pulled off by the establishment to befuddle a huge chunk of the unfairly disadvantaged among the electorate. This allows the oligarchs (and their establishment shills in the GOP) to keep screwing us all unimpeded as so many voters are neutralized.
What about these neutralized voters? A few years back, some of them woke up and voted for the newly created “Tea Party” (who do you think created it?), only to be screwed again. It was nothing more than a little gimmick created to keep these voters them in the GOP fold. Realizing this, many have voted this year for a man who claims not to be of the establishment by dint of being a member of the oligarchy. It makes little sense. How can one define a member of those at the very top of the crooked establishment as not being part of it? Paying the bribes is just as much part of the corruption as working for the bribes. These voters have more than a bubble blindness problem, though. They also aren’t accustomed to think things through. Often they will place place a confident bold attitude (a strongman attitude) over making sense and then buy into pernicious demagogues like Trump who tell them what they want to hear. These folks who have been misled and used by the GOP, “Tea Party”, and now Trump must seriously learn to look farther and think more, or they will be duped sheep for the rest of their lives, supporting the very crooks who lead them to the slaughterhouse.
And what about the Democratic Party? For thirty years, its politicians have sold us out as well. They, too, have been suckling at the teat of our oligarchy, selling us their version of the politicians’ betrayal as “neoliberal” Realpolitik. The voters who still go along with that are hardly more awake than those lifelong Republicans who vote for someone like Trump because they are too “conservative”-party-conditioned to dare look at what’s on offer outside their walled GOP garden.
With all this bubble blindness and cultivated party prejudice, so many of us fall not only into fruitless squabbling among ourselves, but into identity voting, single-issue voting, party-line voting, and gender voting – the kind of thing which (in addition to massive election fraud in the Primaries) gave us Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democratic Party’s nominee – all enabled by those bubbles being too small. If those bubbles weren’t so small, we would notice and remember what the really pressing issues are and join forces to fix them before anything else. We wouldn’t allow ourselves and each other to be so ignorant and blind to – or to turn a blind eye to – the big issues and their best solutions.
So, being bubble-blind, it’s easy to dismiss visionaries like Bernie Sanders and many of his supporters, when all you can see is yellow paint. This gets even worse when you have allowed establishment politicians and other demagogues to take advantage of your short vision and play with your head to further warp your perception of reality. I am speaking of nonsense like the ridiculous allegation that guaranteed healthcare and free college are not affordable to our country when they are so clearly affordable to all our peer countries.
And, for the more privileged among us, it’s also easy to dismiss people in dire need when you have never stepped out of the comfort zone of your privilege bubble, in order to see if maybe, just maybe, you might be morally obligated to care about others who are less fortunate than you.
So, if you haven’t been in support of the things said by people like Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, or Ralph Nader (who naturally don’t necessary agree on absolutely everything, but who does, and who cares?), then I suggest you mull over the two scenarios I provided and try to figure out the size of your bubble, respectively the completeness of the view you have of the whole picture.
I’ll leave you with that, and with the train wreck of Clinton and Trump for President.