I am sure the lack of political posts was noticed if the site traffic statistics are any indication with kettlebells and the Constitution’s Preamble getting the most hits. Reason for that is politics just do not grab me the same way they used to, with most discussions becoming emotional and accomplishing nothing. From my studies in human behavior once it gets emotional, our limbic system kicks in while the neocortex checks out. Politics and religion trigger four social problems if approached emotionally that has to be dealt with before addressing the real human issue logically.
First problem is ‘status checking’, who are you and where do you fit, navigating the mine field of insecurities, rules and culture to face the next issue…who’s in charge. For someone active in politics and not just discussing it, that is a problem. First they have to find their place or forced into it (especially if they have different ideas), the human version of ‘doggy butt-sniffing as Rory puts it’. What happens when someone challenges you? I feel insulted, personally. That is just my ego kicking in and it needs to quiet down so the grownups can work. Egos lead to the ‘hierarchy problem’, so to solve that issue you have to make the other person’s ego feel better. If not you plow into the ‘that’s not how we do things around here’ problem, and it is a monster.
How things are done becomes the identity of the group, whoever identifies with it, which causes any change to be seen as an attack. For example, look at the two major political parties in the U.S., they are recognized by how they address the issues the party pushes (any prevailing issue during a 24 hour news cycle). When you challenge that you put yourself on the fringe of the group you’re in, which causes the fear of alienation from the next issue…’you don’t belong here’. Then it becomes easier to marginalize and discard someone as a threat to ‘the group’.
All of this is to protect the group, to keep it going, and it’s tiered on many levels. The different levels have different values to a particular person. I am speaking generally. Starting with a country overall, that is the largest group identity people use normally. Then the smaller parts of the country, states, provinces, etc., followed by what race they are if they even claim a race. Things people have no choice in, followed by some they do, like sports teams and political parties, then the special interests they are passionate about.
All of these groups are fighting for and over where people fit (classes, special interests), who should be in charge (election years, appointments), and making their worldview into laws that others conform to because that’s how we do things here and if you disagree you need to leave. A constant battle to implement worldviews using the tyranny of the majority through the voting booth. The problem is that politics on a national scale it is hard to make any real change happen, since everyone is defending their territory. It has to be done on a smaller scale till you reach a level where you can take on the larger scale of the issue while being careful not to fall into the same cycle of status problems with your solution. Until then focus on the issues you have a direct effect on, use a holding action on those you have little control over and insulate yourself from the ones you cannot effect.