Ever watch a skilled magician perform a magic show? Always enjoyable but never real. A skilled magician is not skilled in magic of course but in illusions- tricking the brain. But really its not a trick as much as it is taking advantage of how our brains are wired.
Our brain takes in tons of information every second, as you read this things around you continue to happen.. but to read this you must instantly filter most of the sensory experience out. This innate ability for us to concentrate on one pertinent thing while observationally ignoring everything else is key to our ability to function. It is also key to the magician pulling his tricks!
It works like this... basically the magician distracts you, sometimes with normal arm movements or by talking to you and "suggesting" where you devote your attention. He might say "See the hat, look in the hat, nothing in the hat!". In so doing he calls your attention to the hat in one hand while he is setting up the trick with the other hand. Our brains are very susceptible to this form of trickery!
Politicians are perhaps the worlds greatest magicians! They call your attention to something which is a total distraction. Emotional triggers being the most effective. Nothing distracts better than an emotional trigger! The politician "acts" as if they are passionate about the distraction further adding to the illusory affect- "Look in the hat, see the black man being shot by the white cop?" "Watch me pull a cop out of the hat!". Reality of course is these are nothing more than a prop in their bag of tricks. With two sides to every passionate emotional trigger its very easy to "play" this ploy either way. So many tools for them to use too- abortion, the pandemic, racism, 2nd amendment, gay rights, immigration, the economy, the environment, crime, drugs, Space Force, healthcare and any form of common enemy (real or imagined) and more... You are indeed a fool if you believe they really want to solve these- they depend on them!!!
All distractions... but what are we being distracted from? This second perhaps less important reality could lead one down many rabbit holes...or rabbits in a hat! In its simplest form (always go for simple first) it is no more than a way to manipulate a vote. To get your attention and your vote, to rile up your passions and get you to the voting precinct. To build a tribe and grow egotistic feelings of inclusion and "I am right!". To get your money... to get you buying yard signs, campaign flags or car decals. Beyond this undoubtedly corruption comes in to play... if we say "look at the left hand they won't ever see what the right hand is doing." And many levels above everyday corruption lie deeper levels of monetary and contract tweaking. But what the right hand is doing is never the focus of the politician or their media message! Regardless of "why" whether it be mere personal EGO, emotional support, financial gain or even world domination... the trick works the same.
It's not so important to know exactly what the hidden hand is doing or WHY... as it is to realize one is being played! Actual journalism used to help unmask these illusions... back in the day. But ultimately it is our own individual responsibilities as good people to develop one's own critical thinking skills. Blaming the media is fun and perhaps warranted but it helps no one. So here are some real world techniques I use to spur my critical thinking skills and avoid being totally played in the world.
Be on the lookout for EMOTIONAL triggers and those who pull them! Just a few days ago I read a candidate profile in the local paper for a seat in the Kansas State House 9th district. This candidate shared her root motivation for politics was basically (paraphrased) "I was mad a woman was not president". All emotion and ego, no sense of SERVICE. I have an imaginary watch dog at the gateway to my mind... I feed him daily... his one job? Look for emotional triggers and do not let them in! Emotional triggers abound and your castle is at siege! Self discipline and critical thinking are your only defense, use them, develop them.
Know the human brain it's strength and weaknesses. Approach this quandary with humility and self discipline. Realize how easily you can be fooled. No one is infallible. Understand when you are most vulnerable and step up your game. Its ok to get dragged down occasionally but catch it before you get too far gone. Face that you too can be easily distracted and focus on what is real. Understand the innate weakness of your mind to be easily tricked and distracted. Question...Question...Question.
Focus on what is real and within your control. First question you should always ask- IS THIS REAL? Followed by- SHOW ME THE DATA. Then- WILL IT MATTER IN 5 YEARS? And lastly is there really anything I can do about this anyway? If there is- do it! If not move on!
Understand human motivations. Dig for the real reason behind their campaign. Go for the simplest, basic motivations first. If they lack inner discipline and empathy it will likely be shallow emotions- ego. Rarely are these altruistic.
Watch for DISTRACTIONS! If everyone is looking at the magician's black hat realize this and look around at the other things happening. If everyone is concerned about "A" be on the lookout for "C".
We are emotional beings! A self-actualized, responsible adult is not controlled by their emotions, they recognize them and USE THEM! Control your emotions don't let your emotions control you!
Reserve your vote for YOU! Live a life devoted to personal responsibility for your own happiness. Never give that power to a politician, a political party, a spouse, a friend, a job, a lover, a family member, the weather or anything outside of yourself. Most of your energy should be devoted to getting YOU re-elected! Every cell in your body can cast a vote! Show those cells your gratitude and commitment to service and they will show you 100% support!
I MAKE MY VOTE COUNT EVERYDAY!
Vlog link to accompany todays blog below!