Why do political events bring out the worst in people?
The polls everywhere where there are elections seem to get it wrong. Billions of dollars are spent every year on selling products and services which clearly indicate that people can be influenced when looking for goods and services.
Why then does it not work when political events are scheduled? What is therefore the difference between on one hand the willingness to follow advertising guidance whereas the same does not work when choosing leaders of our destiny?
The answer lies in the natural genes of animals and humans.
From times immemorial there have been leaders emerging as soldiers, prophets and academics. In the animal world it is very similar in most kinds of specimens. We know about the lion kings, the gorillas fighting for supremacy, the V shape of flying birds in formation migrating where they will feel secure in better environments.
The question why professional pollsters get it wrong is getting the attention of the best academics finally. For decades, especially in advanced societies, the regular poll numbers were followed as diligently as one watches the weather forecasts. The latter is still considered credible whilst political surveys are no longer taken as gospel.
The answer according to me, an observer more than anything else, is that humans always hide their true feelings when they believe it is not safe to be too transparent.
That reaction is driven by a number of reasons. There is first and foremost direct fear of nasty leaders in countries opponents can be harmed. That public will be very cagey with their true political objectives because they know the state can destroy them physically or financially.
There is also the so called public opinion which in reality is the propaganda strategy of the few who decide how the masses should behave. The frightening weapon that powerful opinion handlers do utilize is unfortunately not understood by most people to challenge the regular drum beating of giant organizations working in the background.
The ability to use powerful language to penetrate the weaker brains can best be explained as an osmosis analogy. The British Empire's hold on so many countries is a glaring example of mastering communications. The universal coverage of the English language even if not premeditated initially when Britain set out to rule the waves nevertheless now is the only remaining achievement of the British empire. Those who master the tools of world wide communications can wield this powerful weapon to spread their continuous control of the world.
Political events are therefore not comparable to occasions to elect a benevolent head of a charity organization. The only path for people desperate enough with their lot will do anything to bring about changes that will, they hope, improve their destiny.
The degrees of energy infused in people during political events depend on the state of their lives. Those living in so called democracies can make fairly tame choices between socialism and capitalism. The subjugated populations have a much harder fight to change theirs. This is why as in ancient times the strongest and vocally powerful soldiers rose to lead their people who in fact were looking to find a leader who will protect them and give them a better life.
Nowadays the emerging leadership do not have to possess physical strength and booming voices but need lots of money and communications experts. Most populations have attained a degree of education from the highest societies to the poor peasant living in distant forests to understand the realities surrounding them.
Consequently successful leaders would have learnt how to penetrate their true needs. They master the knowledge and skills required to connect with the majority of their voters. These astute politicians use the knowledge to fashion a strategy using the best wordsmiths and communication channels.
The examples are aplenty but the best known was the stark difference between American presidential candidates. We have a wide choice between Kennedy and Nixon, Carter and Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton. See who won every time.
Now one can suggest that Hillary Clinton was clearly better than Donald Trump yet she failed. The explanation: Trump understood the fear of the white communities.
His game: Targeting those who felt more threatened by new immigrants of different origins. Those who felt they had been taken for granted and ignored by the elites. Trump kept addressing himself to that group and only to them disregarding all the pundits who thought they knew better than this asinine iconoclast. The winners were not necessarily more intelligent than the losers but they had acquired the knowledge and skills to bring out the message the silent masses could not express themselves. So their votes became their way of fighting back against real or imaginary foes.
I therefore conclude that it is not the worst that political events bring out of people but their most private inner survival fears. Such individual private fears become the common feeling of those as we all are endowed with human traits like animals of the same creed stick together to fight a common enemy.
Here again a leader of the pack will emerge and the followers will believe every bark, every roar and show of power to be their salvation. If my assumption is correct then expect a few surprises in coming elections in Europe.