A Rejoinder to 'We're Not that Smart'

The fundamental purveyor of the American two-party system is the notion that any complex dilemma can be adequately resolved by either end of its spectrum. This form of political narcissism is held by those activists to whom the candidate is beholden until he or she is elected. As post-election day decisions tend toward the middle, pundits exhort, "They all lie!"

Of course, intentions vary by context. When the candidate becomes the elect, his statements and actions must reflect his new reality. In this case, the narcissistic voter has yielded his power to a candidate whose interests and ideologies often compete and he remains powerless. Discussion of a third party uprising proceeds but quickly dissolves when one candidate espouses that voter's conviction and offers a logical solution. Another candidate will then provide a solution from the opposite side in order to shore up his support amongst the competing voting bloc.

Subsequently, a third party candidate must proffer a third solution. Assuming man is still nondeific by the time I finish writing this, this third solution must differentiate itself by being reasonable. Unfortunately, a reasonable solution cannot compete with the vicious sexiness of "pro-life/pro-death" and "pro-choice/anti-choice" rallying cries.

As such, two powerful and similar systems exist to ensure the assent of the two candidates and the non-assent of the "less than serious" candidates. It is in the interest of both parties to grow and encompass these diametrical ideologies in order to effectively weather the vicissitudes of evolving cultures. In turn, the multi-issue voter, resigned to pulling-and-praying, is constantly frustrated by the efforts of the single-issue voter.

Ultimately, the multi-issue voter is forced to project qualities onto his chosen candidate and predict the future in order to reduce the cognitive dissonance produced by the powerlessness that confronted him while he determined which candidate is "less worse" than the other. Unfortunately, because it would undermine his of self-importance, forbearance would be untenable .


[...] Michael: I’m glad you used the term “cognitive dissonance” there as well. [...]

Popular Posts