Sheep Herd
Image by Riccardo Palazzani on Flickr

I can’t think of a better example than this primary season, of how easily the people can be manipulated into doing something, while still making them believe they are in control of their decisions. A man who republicans don’t trust, who represents exactly what is wrong with politics, who will say anything to get elected, is about to become the republican nominee, at a time when the people are supposed to be sick and tired of politicians.

With twenty states left to vote in this primary, more and more voters are gravitating toward Mitt Romney, not because they think he is a great candidate, but because it is “inevitable” that he will be the nominee. Think about what that means for a second. The people are voting for a guy, basically because others are voting for him. They are helping to bring about a result that they are convinced would occur even without their participation. This isn’t new either. Think about what happens when a candidate gains “momentum.” We saw this more than a few times during this primary season. What is “momentum” other than voters flocking to someone merely to follow the group? Why should I care whether a candidate has momentum? This isn’t a horse race. I don’t win anything for picking the winning candidate.

If you want to manipulate people into doing something, make them believe everyone else is doing it. This is precisely why things never change–the lack of independent thought. So many will tell you that they agree that the two party system is a scam, but they refuse to stop feeding it with their votes unless they feel they will be joined by many others.

I am tired of listening to complaints about politicians. The politicians would be powerless if the people actually did what they thought was right and stopped behaving like zombies. It really does make me lose faith sometimes.

This is precisely why the media is so successful at manipulating the voters . It isn’t because they are trusted. They are successful because everyone knows that everyone else is watching that same media, and if we believe others are believing their nonsense, this creates the perception of a “consensus,” and who are we to disagree with the majority, right? It’s pathetic.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. We have been under the impression that our process is so great compared to dictatorships because it is “democratic.” But if we so easily allow our choices to be made for us because we refuse to think for ourselves and forget about what others are doing, then I would argue this is worse than a dictatorship because we actually think we have choices, causing us to have a false sense of security.

We have no one to blame but ourselves. Let’s stop pretending that it’s these evil politicians that have gotten us into this mess. Let’s admit that we are the ones that have allowed this to occur. We have watched the media take candidates from nothing to the talk of the moment, over and over, until the only thing left at the end was the very candidate the establishment wanted since the very beginning. This isn’t a coincidence.

Can this be fixed? I don’t know. I’ve said before that the people that do what is right are not always in the minority, but those who do what is right–for the right reasons–always are. I don’t expect voters to stop allowing the party and the media to manipulate them, and to start doing what is right because it is right. But we can try to create our own perception of a “consensus,” causing others to want to join us in finally destroying the two-party scam. But it won’t be easy, as we’d need to find a way to get media coverage, because without that, unfortunately, the movement does not exist in the mind of the typical citizen.