It is believed that love is blind and politics is a game of irrationalities. By politics I don’t mean the Platonic or Aristotelian definition that means, by way of reductionism, a way of ensuring justice in lands, as it is in the Socratic dialogues, especially in the Plato’s Republic and Politicus. By politics I mean the usual office-seeking mania that entirely depends on numbers. If you are good in manipulating people in today’s world, you are a great politician. It is a time when rhetorics are based on brouhaha and beliefs are covered with emotions. Isn’t it an irony that the most civilised and democratic country we look at to copy ended up with Donald Trump as president?
The greatest tragedy of democracy is its total reliance on the power of the majority, and where the vast number of people are controlled by cognitive dissonance, democracy is as useless as monarchy. Democracy is a tyranny of the senseless majority waiting for history to teach them some lessons. Is there more senselessness than waiting for history to teach a bitter lesson when all the signs of the end of time are apparent? People prefer comfortable lies to bitter truth.
Politics is a game of irrationalities. Political maestro is the one who understands the loopholes in the minds of voters and manipulate them to his advantages. Psychologists say a political mind is as blind as lover’s eyes. A politically biased opinion sees no truth. It is built on the maxim that beliefs are more important than truth. To the mind of political animal truth doesn’t make sense even if he may see it on his way. Whenever the beliefs of a political animal are confronted with uncomfortable truths, his mind creates psychological tension that goes away with his rational faculty. This is how partisan politics damages our brains.
When President Buhari was booed at the House of Assembly during his recent budget presentation after some APC members of the parliament applauded his “Next Level, 4+4” hand sign, Buharists came out and called the PDP members irresponsible people with no respect for a leader and old man. But these Buharists are the same people who were very happy when former President Jonathan was stoned in Bauchi when he was in power! In the Northern Nigeria there was a widely accepted myth that the invisible hands of Jonathan were behind the rise of Boko Haram. But no one is now shifting the blame of rampant cases of kidnappings in Northern Nigeria to the President Buhari! Some of his die-hard supporters could write volumes to defend this cognitive bias.
Do I have to tell you that we are in a time where everything is seen through the narrow prism of partisan politics? Whenever there is any slight development in the country, Buharists attribute the credit to the President Buhari and whenever we fall into the abyss of Buharinomic policies they blame the 16 years of PDP, some of them go further to blame God! Someone needs opium to think in this way. Politics is a great opium, by the way.
Don’t think that PDP is a team of messiahs and rational human beings. The problem is neither from PDP nor from APC. Our brains carry the blames. We are created to blindly support the damages of our loved ones. Our eyes are too blind to see any wrong with any party we carry its card. In his well known book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, psychologist Leon Festinger offered an idea on why we experience psychic discomfort whenever we seek balance and harmony between our attitudes, beliefs and behaviour. The brain of man doesn’t always allow him to interact with external world as smartly as he thinks. It creates many illusions that help him in comfortably contradicting himself unconsciously. Our brains create myths and our bodies work on them.
Some people believe that PDP wasted 16 years on power without anything to show. When confronted with how APC follows the same way of mishandling the country and trying to take it to the Next Level of hardships, economic meltdown and insecurity, the people say they are going to choose lesser between two evils as if our democracy allows only one two parties.
The brains of these people created wasted vote myth. They think the two “evil” parties are above their other choices. What they don’t know is the power of the two parties is in their hands. The power of parties are nothing but political fictions created to control the masses. This is why those who claim that PDP and APC are becoming bourgeoisie parties are narrowing Nigerian politics to only two parties. We have over 90 parties and we can make any one of them a powerful party. The power is in our hands.