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Us Versus Them

This video shows the schisms in politics are more team based than ideological. People follow the narrative of a specific party or team rather then the results and actions of those parties and politicians. Team based politics will trick your mind into thinking everything “we” do is “good” and everything “they” do is “bad”. First off, people have a much lower interest in politics then they realize which means their attention spans for disseminating information are lower meaning they are more willing to accept a shallow narrative rather than create an informed decision on a topic such as a piece of legislation ala Tax Plans, Net Neutrality, THE PATRIOT ACT, etc.

This also means something else, while many harshly believe the general voting population is either stubborn, stupid or brainwashed, the opposite tends to be true when you spend enough time talking to people. In my experience, people are extremely bright and insightful and are inherently self-interested, the problem is the way that the news and political parties have taught to create an us versus them mentality which is easier to create loyalty rather than a rational philosophically consistent dissemination of data and results, which takes time, honesty, and interest. In order to reach people effectively, especially in a dissident party, being honest and respecting the ability of others to understand information (without flooding them or making overly emotional appeals) is important.

The results of a piece of legislation or action you favor ought to include the self-interested result of the person or audience you are engaging, in accordance with your political ideology, with the information and data that support the idea. Politics ought to be based on self-interest grounded in philosophic consistency, paired with results. Without self-interest, the audience will shut you out, even if legalizing front yard gardens is favorable because the old couple down the street is facing criminal charges, why should the audience care? Certainly they may agree it is a travesty in the present moment, but will it inspire their support? The answer is to find self-interest, if they can tell you what kinds of shrubs to grow, they can tell you what kind of pool you can have or what kind of expansions you can make to your home or what color paint you are allowed to use, now you have their attention and their vote. It must be philosophically consistent with your ideology, if the goal is appeal or propose legislation it should line up with and be consistent with the underlying platform in order to strengthen the resolve, i.e. a populist candidate shouldn’t propose higher taxes on the working class, a green candidate shouldn’t propose coal subsidies and a libertarian candidate shouldn’t propose seat belt law legislation. Last there must be visible results, this is not always important in most cases as change is often not palpable but narrative, but if you want to create a dedicated following and foster a movement, the results, the prospect of the results, and even the negative results of your opponents must be showcased.

It’s not enough to state your position, it must transcend the political mental barriers through self-interest, philosophical consistency with your platform and results or the prospect of results supported by facts. Including all of this during communication is important and powerful in order to sway prospective voters and ideological allies in a word dominated by political posturing and team based politics. For libertarians, most voters do not know who we are so we have the advantage of creating an identity for ourselves without baggage, mistrust and prejudice, use this to your advantage. As for the Republican tax plan, tax cuts without government cuts will result in the people paying, whether its through inflation, borrowing, or kicking the can down the road by increasing the debt ceiling, resulting in paying for governments wasteful expenditures regardless, therefore the solution is to cut government along with taxes in order to stop paying period.

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