One of the interesting things about politics is that people suspend their normal understanding of the world when the topic shifts to politics. It is as if we have a separate brain that is only used for discussing current events. In our daily lives, our normal brain does the thinking and evaluating for us. It assesses people and decisions by weighing the facts against past practice. When the topic shifts to politics, the normal brain shuts down and the political brain fires up.
The easy example is the people in politics. Normal brain would never take advice from a stranger with no qualifications. If someone you do not know knocks on your door offering advice, you close the door, maybe call the cops. On the other hand, if that guy says he is running for office and wants to tell you what is best for your community, you take the time to listen. The guy could be naked, but if he is clearly talking politics, well, let us hear what naked guy has to say.
Few people in office are qualified for any job in the real world. The closest any of them come to real work is the law. More often than not, their legal experience was brief, just enough to get them some connections so they could run for office or maybe catch on at a government agency to network. There are a few flim-flam men from Wall Street who end up in politics, but banking is to work what tarot card reading is to science. For most, the only thing they have done is politics.
Political brain finds this perfectly normal. Normal brain, however, would pop out of our skull and run away before allowing the crazy guy in shipping to tell the accounting department how to close the month. Normal brain would never allow the guys in sales to tell production what to make next month. Normal brain expects the decisions to be made by people who are experienced and qualified. Even then, normal brain likes to see some proof before making a decision.
This is most obvious in the consensus building. In every meeting in our work life, normal brain is there reminding us that most of the people in the room are morons whose opinion should be ignored. Most of the room is people who are just going to say something so the boss notices them and thinks they are participating. Normal brain knows that most decisions, thankfully, are not made by committee, because normal brain knows all of us are dumber than most of us.
Political brain, on the other hand, takes the opposite view. Political brains says that we have to all come together and reach a consensus. We have to have long debates where everyone gets to make their voice heard. You cannot leave decisions to just one person as that is not how democracy works. No matter how many times the search for consensus results in the wrong answer, political brain insists that a room full of stupid people will find the right answer.
There is very little about politics, especially democratic politics, which makes any sense to our normal brain. In any other context, normal brain would recoil in horror at what political brain considers rational. It is, however, our political brain that tells us to trust unqualified and unscrupulous strangers. It is our political brain that tells us to give that weirdo a chance to speak. On the other hand, it is our normal brain that has to live with the consequences of what political brain has done.
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