Monday, November 05, 2012

Sick of Politics? Need To Vent? This is the Place To Do It!

Earlier today, I placed a moratorium on political opinions on my Facebook Fanpage. I directed people to comment only objectively about facts, data and, if they chose, the psychology of political ads. Here was my initial post:

"I'm venting here. Why is it that when anyone writes the name of a candidate for President on a post IN ANY CONTEXT, people think that the post is designed to elicit a political response. I realize that we are 24 hours from Election Day and we are all fired up about what we believe. Frankly, you're political beliefs are your own. I personally deal in analysis, data and try to remove myself from the politics. Remember, we all have cognitive biases which unfortunately surface with an accelerated vigor during an election year that make us react impulsively to words like "Obama" and "Romney". So if I write an update tomorrow that shows the Electoral College count, note that it is not an endorsement of a candidate but a look at the numbers. Nothing more. Nothing less. Sigh. Time for a snack."
I continued sometime later with this...
I like to analyze the psychology of campaign ads. They only give you the pieces of information that are just enough to validate their claim on a specific topic and, at the same time, that information is pushed into your psyche at that fundamental level which forces your cognitive bias to win over your rational, objective side. These ads cater to your political leanings by weighting the argument to fit your preconceived notions therefore cementing your decision through repetition on tv. This happens over time. They focus on words like: China, Taxes, Government, Stimulus, Corporations, Middle Class, Wealthy, The Rich, etc. I bet if we looked up political ads from 30 years ago, they probably aren't much different.
After a hour or two, several people started to go down the "comment road" that I frowned upon earlier. Namely, the road which is riddled with political opinions.
JOHN:  I don't endorse anyone, go Romney. Just saying
then Mary said
MARY: "lol ok if John can endorse Romney.. I'm just saying.. lets go with the right choice.. Obama.... 4 more years..... lets give him time to finish what he started... forward... not backward..."
So I responded with....
John and Mary, here we go. This is how comment threats deteriorate. I can feel this going down a road a political road that can only lead to negativity. See my blog post on comment threads http://sabolscience.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-evolution-and-devolution-of.html
Then it hit me I'm going about this all wrong. On the eve of the election, people are at their wit's end. We are sick and tired of the same old commercials. We are sick of the coverage. We are so sick and tired that most have become apathetic. Our everyday existence has been plowed over with political rhetoric. We are an overly stimulated society The general populous has become recalcitrant. We simply don't care anymore and we want this display of one-upsmanship to end. Our torpid minds need a bleeder valve. Something to take the pressure off of the relentless pounding we've taken for 18+ months. My Facebook Fanpage is that bleeder value. Head on over to it and voice your displeasure, your political opinions, your disdain, your frustration, your dislike for the weather, your apathy for the Browns...as long as its clean. This offer will only be extended until midnight tonight.

So have at it. Let the catharsis begin.

1 comment:

Ed Gidley said...

Hi Scott. Watching "The Grapes of Wrath" on TCM. Great movie. If our Government, whoever is in charge after tomorrow, doesn't get the unfunded spending under control, this movies depicts exactly where we will be again. We just don't seem to be able to learn from history.
On a lighter note, finally got my leaves collected. First day here in Stow with little more than a drizzle in over a week. Tons of leaves collected - most on my mulch pile, last six loads at the street for the city pickup.