Our American democratic system is based on the reactions of the majority. Unfortunately these people are presently ill-prepared for today’s problems. In the past, trusted local individuals were chosen to meet with the potential representatives and pick those who they thought could best lead our country forward. It was recognized that the masses had no foresight for balancing complex problems and no willingness to dig deep into abstract future problems, and thus to move toward the goals that would be most constructive for them and the whole community.
The majority of the public can only dig deep enough to react to their painful present circumstances; thus there is no action toward the ideal long-term solutions to long-term probable problems and only reactions to present real problems. Individuals’ thoughts can penetrate to actions that would be good, but to get the whole public to move in a given direction requires reaction, and mass reaction is based on perceived present painful experience.
Our current political situation is one where one candidate is focusing exclusively on the painful experiences of the public, exploiting their pain and fears with fragmentary sentences and sound bites, and promising an easing of real pain with platitudes and placebos. That candidate is reaching vast numbers of suffering people, but such simple-minded rhetoric can’t bring people nearer their own self-interest; it can only inflame their suffering in the short term and bring disaster to them in the long term.
The other candidate is offering more workable solutions, but they are little more than the current programs, buffed up to sound more appealing. Those programs may be the best ones, but those suffering have negative experience with those programs and discovered that they left the communities still suffering.
There are large portions of current society that are no longer functional in their older life strategies, and they need to find other ways for coping with modern life. But that is painful, because it means abandoning their lives, and the homes of their upbringing, and of their parents, and even of earlier generations. Unfortunately what worked for their grandparents will no longer work for them, and they are suffering.
When a governmental policy intentionally destroys people’s livelihoods, it must offer very special opportunities to those people.