In the days of yore, there were kings. Everybody could agree to hate the king because he was rich and well-fed, when most of his minions were not.
Then, a more effective system was invented: democracy. Its originators had in mind a system whereby the populace could choose their leader from amongst themselves – thereby gaining a leader who understood them and represented them.
In short order, those amongst the populace who wished to rule found a way to game the new system in a way that would allow them to, in effect, be kings, but to do so from behind the scenes, whilst retaining the illusion of democracy.
The formula is to create two opposing political parties. Each is led by someone who’s presented as being a “representative of the people.”
You then present the two parties as having opposing views on governance. It matters little what the differences are. In fact, you can have the differences be as obscure and arbitrary as, say, gay rights or abortion, and they will work as well as any other differences. What matters is that your two parties object to each other strenuously on the declared issues, working the electorate into a lather.
Once you have each group hating the other group “on principle,” you’re home free. At that point, you’ve successfully completed the distraction. The electorate now believe that, whatever the trumped-up issues are, they’re critical to the ethical governance of the country.
Most importantly, the electorate actually believe that their future well-being depends on the outcome of the next election – that it will decide whether their own view on the issues will prevail.
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