The problem with politics (and useful idiots)

“I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.”
-Jay-Z

Why do humans gravitate to and obsess over politics?

Simple: our brains are wired this way. It’s natural.

Specifically, a political identity gives you a default opinion, on every hotly-contested topic, without having to do the work necessary to form an opinion yourself. Super convenient.

Secondly, a political identity gives us an instant “tribe” — a social safety net that allows us to signal virtue and receive cheap praise.

Lastly, having a political identity invites confirmation bias —maybe the strongest drug known to man.

When we have a strong political identity, rarely do we seek a non-consensus view, forgetting that being right + non-consensus is really the only way to earn uncommon success or growth.

In short: we like politics because it allows for lazy thinking.

After all, why would I do the work of researching climate change, tax reform, economics, immigration, the latest Supreme Court nominee (“so what if I’ve never heard of this guy until 19 seconds ago, I hate/love him!”), or any other topic when I can simply rely on my in-group to create an opinion I can scoop up cheaply?

If you believe you are a liberal or a conservative because you are fundamentally “good” — you are mistaken.

If you believe your side has a monopoly on virtue or knowledge — you are mistaken.

Solution: drop any strong political identity completely, become independent, or be risk becoming a useful idiot. 🙂

and don’t be this guy:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: