The Feel-Good Politics Trap


The previous piece exposed the use of language manipulation to pull people into political movements and parties which do them a disservice. I pointed to the historic fact that the aim and task of right-wing parties has always been to befuddle large segments of the population into acting against their own interests by baiting them with follies like nationalism, racism, or religion — all ways to give the gullible a sense of being special and belonging to a superior social group. I concluded that this is feel-good politics instead of make-good politics and usually at other groups’ expense.

Today I will briefly elaborate on the scam of feel-good politics and also point out that it is no longer limited to only the right wing whose sole purpose it has always been to make the most gullible portion of the people side with its oligarchy. 

The left used to be on the exact opposite end of things, but nowadays many formerly left parties in the world have been taken over by their own brand of feel-good scammers. In the U.S., this applies to the “Democratic” Party, and it has led to a dynamic where a majority of the people sort themselves into one of two camps both of which feel good about itself and hate on the other camp while neither camp makes things better and the oligarchs laugh on their way to the bank.

We live in times where most of us cannot achieve the quality of life our parents or grandparents had. While many of them could get by with a single income earner per household, avoid debt, build or buy a house of their own and pay it off before retirement, afford vacations, and then retire on comfortable retirement income, we descendants toil endlessly in insecure and often disappearing jobs, even two or three jobs at a time, often drown in debt, frequently must rent the roofs over our heads, and drift towards hopeless poverty in our old age, should we even reach old age considering rampant lack of healthcare. Whatever dreams we had when we were young are quickly stamped out by a cruel economy and immoral society built on looting the many to give to the few. The constant suffering and broken dreams, mixed with mockery and victim-blaming from the top, make us feel horrible and low, angry, depressed, and ashamed.

Then, onto the public stage, hop the political scam artists who dominate both major parties and – among false promises – play their feel-good games that do nothing to improve our living conditions but do raise our pride and self-esteem and sense of togetherness to make us feel better even though the horrible conditions which brought us down have not improved one wee bit. As for our anger, these scammers divert it from the oligarchs, the rightful targets responsible for our miserable situation, towards the other political camp and a smattering of scapegoats such as weak minorities (Blacks, Muslims, and immigrants) or drummed up foreign threats (Russia, N-Korea, China…). It’s a time-proven recipe for manipulate people into tolerating their true oppressors. A very sad thing to see this work in a nation which was founded on escape from and rebellion against oppressive rulers.

Both scammer camps feed on the frustration and anger present in the disowned and disenfranchised people and earn their plentiful kick-backs from the billionaire class by diverting the people’s anger from its proper target: their oligarchic oppressors. Both scammer camps achieve this by not making things better for people but merely making them feel better in the mess they have to spend their entire lives in. Our frustration and anger comes from our hopeless struggles and broken dreams, from being marginalized and kept from fair access to the resources of our nation and world that, ethically speaking, we should all have equal access to.

The logical reaction to being robbed of our share of our country, of liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the logical reaction to being caught in a system that slaughters all our dreams; would be to join forces with one another to oust the oligarchy and make things better, a lot better, incredibly great.

However, the oligarchy’s trick that has been so successful is to create (or buy up) two dominating political parties which monopolize political access keeping us from having any say, two major political parties which divide us into camps hating on each other instead of recognizing and ending the evil rule of the oligarchy, two corrupt political parties that give us feel-good moments by making us see ourselves in the “good” camp and releasing our anger upon the other “bad” camp and upon any other kinds of scapegoats the scammers present us with.

Let me be specific. First, here is what the political “right” does. See for yourself if this agrees with what you can see going on. The political “right” stresses things like nationalism, racism, and religion, to attract people who feel bad about a system that stifles their dreams, and who feel a lot of loss of pride when things are going badly for them, but who are easily made to feel good by building up their pride as special people who belong to a superior group because they are natively born, flag-worshiping, pale-skinned, evangelist Christians, married to traditional authoritarian believes, and such.

A powerful visual impression hit me when I saw a photograph of some of the so misguided at one of their party-arranged get-togethers, arm in arm, drinking and singing (or hollering?) together, beaming with happiness and pride. Edification and togetherness of this type produces a lot of feel-good sensation. And it is reinforced by hating on, disdaining, and disparaging a group of “others” such as those in the “opposing” political party or a weak group at the bottom of society (Blacks, Muslims, or immigrants) since lowering the status of others creates the illusion of lifting one’s own status, hating on others provides an opportunity to vent one’s built up anger, and the economically and socially weakest groups are the easiest to scapegoat and mistreat as they are least able to fight back. In Nazi Germany these groups were unionists, leftist party members, and Jews, all of which ended up dead in ditches and concentration camps.

Here, the right’s hate-on targets are “Democrats”, “commies”, African Americans, Muslims, and immigrants. Ostensibly, the hate is only directed at undocumented, a.k.a. “illegal”, immigrants – using their breaking of procedure, their mere misdemeanor, as justification for the hate; but basically all immigrants are suspected of being “illegal” or willy-nilly throw into the same pot. It’s simpler that way; and who cares if thousands of those who didn’t immigrate with all the bureaucratically required papers and procedures were brought here as babies? Label them all as lawbreakers and go for their throats anyway. And why bother to treat any different those who immigrated properly, following all the rules and paying all the fees, those who did so perhaps out of love for this country that nativists were merely born into through no efforts of their own ? Let’s just hate and hurt them all to make ourselves feel good. It’s the “right” way.

Now let’s look at the scammers in the “left” camp, the “Democratic” Party which is considered “left” only by its own (and the right’s) insistence of being allegedly left, but which has long lost any right to be called that, being no longer a party for working class people fighting poverty and economic injustice. In this camp, the scam works by taking up minor social causes which don’t threaten the oligarchy and its rigged economic and political system in the slightest. The scammers in the “Democratic” Party, neoliberals as they are also known, present themselves as social warriors for women’s rights, trans-gender people, and such, often providing nothing but mere rhetoric for them. The trick here is to make the little foot-soldiers and voters of the “Democratic” Party feel morally superior over those of the Republican Party. Again, feel good but do no good. It’s the other side of the same coin.

And with this charade going on, we – the American People – have for decades been swinging back and forth between the two scammer camps, straining to take government back from the Republicans, then back from the Democrats, then back again from the Republicans, and so on, ad infinitum, accomplishing absolutely nothing for ourselves and seeing our country and our lives go deeper and deeper down the drain.

It’s high time for us to step away from this useless ping pong politics, time to take control away from the corrupt elites of two scammer parties and their billionaire masters. It’s time for us to realize that our nation can produce prosperity and enable a life worth living for every citizen and resident. It’s time to understand that our country can achieve great tasks, like being a beacon for democracy and sending men to the moon in the past, or reducing chores through automation and extending health and life in the future, if only we focus on what really matters and join forces to create true democracy, shared prosperity, and a swath of sensible national goals instead of lending our support to the billionaires’ pillaging of our planet and nation.

To do this, we can try to take over the corrupted major parties from the base. But, if this is possible at all, flooding the base will assuredly not be enough. As previously in our history, it will also require strong external pressure form the outside of those parties by either forming a powerful new party or building a powerful people’s coalition from existing third parties, activist groups, unions, new parties, and a growing people’s movement that aims to retake this country from the billionaires back into the hands of its people.

Without such external pressure, the ruling elites in both major parties will simply feel assured that we unwashed masses have nowhere else to go; and so they will continue to ignore our needs and demands and keep playing us with impunity as their risks are zero. After all, not even those among them who hold elected offices have to fear our lessened support very much since the revolving doors are there to keep them safe. If they lose an elected seat, they typically get hired as a corporate lobbyist or political consultant making at least twice the money they were making before, or they park themselves in an unelected seat in the party or a money laundering operation like the Clinton Foundation. The system has thus been perfected for them and weaponized against us. To get out of our mess, we have no other choice than to break this evil system. For this we must take off the kid gloves, take off the blinders when it comes to those who work their corruption within “our” camp, and kick their butts from both within and without their party, relentlessly and with full force. We must become resolute and take no prisoners. No more mollifying us with feel-good politics and insincere promises. No more pacifying us with token concessions and sideline battles while you scheme against us in major ways behind closed doors. You are either fully with us, or you’re out!


Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site and work on my book. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course offering, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets or companionable fellow blogs, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Or help my book get out there when it’s finished. Thanks. Only together can we change this world. 🙂

One thought on “The Feel-Good Politics Trap

  1. “The system has thus been perfected for them and weaponized against us. To get out of our mess, we have no other choice than to break this evil system. For this we must take off the kid gloves, take off the blinders when it comes to those who work their corruption within “our” camp, and kick their butts from both within and without their party, relentlessly and with full force. We must become resolute and take no prisoners. ”



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