Sunday, October 31, 2010
It boggles the mind, it does...
Over at The Hamiltonian there's an article: 'What the Heck Happened?'. It's...it's...
It's a great testimony to how people often can't see the forest for the trees.
To how people don't seem to really understand how the world in which they live actually works.
To how 'lizard brain' behaviour doesn't just crop up south of the border in right-leaning circles, but also seems to be present in The Great White North.
Mostly, it's testimony to how deeply entrenched 'the blame culture' here is.
In every election, the end result comes down to one simple, salient factor:
How voters cast their votes.
Nothing else matters.
1) Not how media framed the campaign.
2) Not how hard it is to 'dethrone' an incumbent.
3) Not because the Unfairness Faeries have run amok.
Sure; it's easy, it's convenient to find reasons why things turned out the way they did, to ascribe subjectively abhorrent results to elements outside each individual's cognitive processes. In other words, to effectively diminish the voter's role.
Is that really where we want to take this...?
Regarding #1: Claiming that Mainstream Media 'manipulated' an election campaign, that people voted the way they did as a result of how they'd been 'influenced', 'coerced' or otherwise herded in a particular direction...as so many of the commenters at the article –and elsewhere– maintain... Well, are you comfortable with not only making MM into something so powerful as to be able to accomplish this, but also effectively regarding residents as sheeple? Of being incapable of doing investigations of their own? Totally devoid of volition, of independence, of powers-of-discernment? Don't you think the connotation here would be that voters are morons?
Honestly; this way of thinking is, to me, so much worse than voter apathy. Because these commenters, who presumably voted from an informed stance, seem incapable of generating common sense, and clearly are locked into a 'victim' mindset.
But if you do feel that way...that voters are morons, malleable, play-things...don't you think that rather than bitching about how fuckled the system is, that this is where some effort should be applied? You know, to turn this whole débacle around?
Regarding #2: Apparently, to so many of the commenters and their ilk, it's impossible for anyone to be performing at a high level of elected service for more than one term. Therefore, it's assumed that they need to be replaced after four years. The old 'Bring in the fresh blood and ideas, throw out the incumbents!' mentality. Honestly, this was one of the most ridiculous notions I saw broadcast online this year. Worse, it was an alarmingly common one. It bears no relation to how the real world works, where proficiency and performance and experience is rewarded, not penalized. I read some pretty fucking stupid stuff about elections this year...but this is the pretty-fucking-stupidest. Maybe second to the above is the idea that there's something 'unfair' about the battle between the challenger-candidates and the incumbents. That the incumbents are almost impossible to 'usurp', that the advantages they possess are, by-and-large, impossible to overcome, waah-waah-waah. My reaction to this concept? To snicker, to do spit-takes, to truly question the intelligence of online commentators specifically...and the voting public in general.
Regarding #3: I'm saddened that in all the comments I've read post-election, almost nobody wants to point The Finger of Blame at those who are actually the ones accountable for all election results: The Voting Public. Because really: if you've got even half of votes cast being done so on the basis of 'name recognition' (in the 2006 election it was reportedly 60%), do you think that the responsibility for any outcome can be applied anywhere other than to us...?
More on this topic to come. Obviously.