Nowadays, it can seem as though everyone and their dog is into politics, and this is vastly different from how it was in the past. This is something that interests a large part of the younger generation in particular.
It could be said that as a result of more people going to university and social media, it has lead to politics becoming the cool thing to be into. One thing that has also taken place throughout this time is that humanity has become more and more divided.
A Very Different World
Still, to say that humanity has become more divided simply because more people are into politics than before would be going a bit far but it has certainly played a part. What is different now is that it is not uncommon for someone to be very vocal about the party they support and what they think of another party.
In the past, it would have been more likely for someone to keep this all to themselves or at the very least, to only share it with the people they knew. In addition to this, the party that someone supports can be a very important part of their identity.
A Key Factor
Undoubtedly, social media has played a part in why so many people talk more openly about what party they support. This platform encourages people to talk openly about anything and everything and, thanks to the dopamine that is released when what they say is ‘liked’, they will be rewarded for doing so.
What was seen as something that was private in the past can now be seen as something that should be shared with hundreds or thousands of ‘friends’. This is why it has been said that social media encourages people to be more narcissistic.
As to why the political party that someone supports would be seen as an important part of their identity, this could be put down to the fact that it is easier for one to identify with external forms of structure and strength than it is for them to develop these things within themselves. Through identifying with an external structure, then, one can bypass the painful work that they would have to do to move further along the path of individuation (or to start this process) and to develop a strong sense of self.
Along with the structure that a party can provide for someone, there is also the impact that a party can have on their image. Through showing their support for a certain party, one can receive approval and look virtuous.
When someone supports one party and this party is a big part of their life, they can see those who support another party as their enemy. In their eyes, their party can be the ‘good’ party and the other party can be the ‘bad’ party.
They can spend a fair amount of time talking about politics with the people in their life and the same can take place when they are online. Most, if not all, of the people in their life can have the same views as them and when they are online, they could battle those that support another party.
It is then not going to matter that the people who support another party are their fellow human beings as they could be seen as less-than-human. They will see themselves as being radically different from these people and these people as being radically different from them.
If they do see them in this way, it will be perfectly normal for them to treat them badly. Unlike them, these people will lack humanity and thus, they will deserve to be treated badly and to even be punished.
A Sense of Belonging
Thanks to the number of people who are also likely to have the same view as them, they will have plenty of support. This can allow them to feel as though they are part of something and that they are not alone.
They will be an individual but they can act as though they are just an extension of others. One outcome of this is that they can renounce personal responsibility as they won’t see themselves as an individual who is accountable for their actions.
Now, if a closer look is taken at their behaviour, it will start to become clear that politics has provided them with the ultimate escape. In the same way that drugs or alcohol can allow one to avoid themselves, the political realm can do the same thing.
Nonetheless, due to how many people are also in the same position as them and as this is typically not seen as something that can allow one to avoid themselves, there can be no reason for them to realise this. One can then carry on as they are, oblivious as to the reason why they are so consumed by politics.
A Deeper Look
When it comes to the first part of this, seeing those that support one party as ‘good’ and those that don’t as ‘bad’ and seeing them as the enemy, this can illustrate that they are carrying a lot of toxic shame. As they are carrying this emotional weight but are unable to acknowledge this, they end up projecting their badness into others.
This will allow them to keep their own toxic shame at a distance and to feel better about themselves; what it won’t do is allow them to take responsibility for this toxic shame and to deal with it. Moreover, the two-party system will appeal to the dual nature of their ego-mind, as this part of them sees life through a black and white lens.
An Undeveloped State
Being part of something and not acting like an individual can be a way to stop themselves from having to come into contact with their own separation trauma. If they were to break away from the herd, so to speak, and to act as an individual, they could come into contact with the fear of being rejected and abandoned.
Therefore, as they haven’t emotionally separated from their primary caregiver – or are simply not very far along the individuation process – they have a strong need to merge with others. Losing themselves in the political realm is then a way for them to keep their fears at bay and to re-experience their early symbiotic state.
An Unconscious Process
This will allow them to experience the strength, connection and security that they lack internally. Their unmet childhood needs, needs that they are unlikely to be consciously aware of, will most likely be what is driving their behaviour.
Due to where they are at emotionally, it is to be expected that they won’t be interested in thinking for themselves and coming to their own conclusions. If they were to do this, they would probably come into contact with the emotional wounds that they have pushed out of their conscious mind.
It is part of human nature to avoid pain and to seek pleasure, and the political realm gives someone a way to keep a lot of their pain at bay and to experience positive feelings. Ergo, while the political realm is not bad per se, it is easy to see why it is so appealing to those that don’t want to face themselves.
Yet, if they are strongly attached to their ego-mind and are unable to see that their outer world is a manifestation of what is taking place in their conscious and unconscious mind, they won’t have the self-awareness that is needed to take a step back and to heal their inner wounds. Instead, they will be caught up in their own projections and continue to create drama in their own life and feed into the drama that is taking place in the world.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.