What Is the Basis for Our Political Opinions?

The truth of course is that almost no politics is empirically proven to be right, wrong or even indifferent. Different proposals are simply different ideas about how society should be run and as such are outside of the realm of science.

And honestly, almost everyone’s politics is “I take Position A over Position B because Position A makes me feel good, and Position B makes me feel bad.” That’s how 90% of the population chooses its politics, and that’s when they are not acting even worse and going down an ideological checklist. I fully agree that all of my political positions are taken because Positions A that I take make me feel good, while Positions B that I reject simply make me feel bad. It’s that simple. No empiricism, no science, no nothing. It’s all about the feels.

Now a lot also take positions on a moral basis. For a lot of my positions I simply feel that Positions B that I reject are out and out immoral, while Positions A that I take are much more moral choices.

A lot of politics is also taken for selfish reasons. I am not here to knock that, as I do this myself. Many Positions B that I reject are rejected simply because I feel these positions would be very bad for me personally in some way. This stuff hits close to home. So I choose Position A which will not harm me over Position B which will harm me. Most other people and even entities like corporations base most of their politics on similar egotistical and yes, of course, selfish politics.

The Big Lie is that everyone says, “I take Positions A because those are the ones that really work, and I reject Positions B because those policies simply do not work.”

Now I might take that position in a few cases. Say if someone proposed to tear down all the prisons (there are far Left types who advocate this), I would reject it on grounds that it just would not work and further would probably harm a lot of innocent people. Prisons are horrific, but they work better than setting what amounts to wild animals loose on our streets. Animals belong in cages!

But most people do indeed take positions based on what makes them feel good, what they think is morally correct and what is better for them on a very selfish level. Almost no one will admit this because to do so makes them seem petty, vain, shallow and narcissistic and although this describes most humans, hardly any of us want to face up to our petty, shallow and callous inner cores.

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0 thoughts on “What Is the Basis for Our Political Opinions?”

  1. In a small town a young, but grown, man borrowed his dad’s Harley to go get something from his dwelling on the other side of town. When he returned to us, he told us how some other young man had accosted him on the street over the use of the bike and how he invited the accoster to taste of a knuckle sandwich. A day later, the local newspaper headlined an article “Motorcycle Gang Terrorizes Elm Street”. Same street, same rough time.

    Even with the best of wills, which I do not credit them with, the media distorts events. The best I can see doing is to sample as many news sources as one readily can and it’s good if they seem to despise each other. From this one can build up ones own version of probable truth about an event.

    Conscious certainty being impossible with these second- to tenth-hand inputs, we rely on intuition for our political opinions. If sane, we test these opinions against new information.

    Before coming here today, I read an attack on how one of the candidates interpreted the constitution, by someone who claims to be a lawyer. Yet I came up, in a minute or less, with an argument that supported the candidate’s interpretation.

    My argument was neither emotional nor as fine-spun as many of the decisions that have come out of the Supreme Court. I suspect the lawyer was put off because someones feelings were hurt. It’s another tweak to my political intuition.

    Then, there are those who take up whatever opinion they think popular. I try to discourage them from voting.

    1. What about the idiots who think a beeping briefcase isn’t suspicious and we should stand with the troublemaking Moslem and its publicity-hound father?

      1. “Then, there are those who take up whatever opinion they think popular.”

        Could be wrong but I think the two sets are nearly identical.

  2. The real problem is to get a consensus about what a healthy condition is and about how much intervention is allowable before it’s more of a problem than what we’re trying to solve. How can we get a sane consensus when those who talk back against insane utterances get shouted down by loud fools?

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