A recent general election poll found that an astounding 41% of respondents concluded that Theresa May is running a good campaign compared to 22% who thought it was going badly.
For those of us who follow social media this approval rating for Theresa May's campaign seems shocking and unbelievable for a whole host of reasons:
- Theresa May proving her weakness and her lack of confidence in her own abilities by refusing to debate her political opponents
- Her endless repetition of the same bunch of sound bites like some kind of broken robot
- Her minders' ruthless enforcement of Tory safe spaces for her to campaign in
- Booking a village hall as a "children's party" in order to hide her safe space rally from locals
- Explaining that she wants to prevent tourism
- Shutting local journalists in a room to preserve her safe space
There exists a very significant cohort of people who find actual political policy talk crushingly boring, but who can be easily won over by the endless repetition of familiar sounds.
These sounds are carefully tested and selected by focus groups, and are designed to chime with the prevailing propaganda narratives of the mainstream media, hence all we hear from Theresa May is stuff like "strong and stable", "strengthen my hand", "important election", "national interest" and the like.
It doesn't matter that most of her sound bites are completely at odds with observable reality. It doesn't matter that she evades pretty much every question she's asked. It doesn't matter that the Tories have a horrific track record in government. It doesn't matter that Theresa May is a coward who refuses to engage in debate. It doesn't matter that she consistently refuses to use good faith debating tactics. It doesn't matter that she's slow-marching the UK towards an economic meltdown that would make the financial sector insolvency crisis look like a teddybears' picnic ...
All that matters to some people is that she repeats the same comforting focus group selected sound bites over and over again.
These endlessly repeated propaganda tropes actually act as a kind of soothing meditative mantra for those amongst us who are sorely lacking in critical thinking skills, have almost total immunity to cognitive dissonance, and stubbornly refuse to make the cognitive effort to think about things for themselves rather than rote learning what the Tory politicians and right-wing media hacks tell them to believe.
Of course Theresa May's bad faith refusal to answer questions and the endless repetition of a load of blatantly backwards political propaganda tropes comes across as intensely jarring to those of us who do believe in honest answers, evidence-based assertions, good faith debating tactics, meaningful political discourse and the like, but this kind of propaganda isn't designed for us. It's designed for the political sleepwalkers.
The fact that Theresa May's endless repetition of reality-reversing propaganda tropes is jarring and infuriating to those of us with critical thinking skills is a kind of added bonus for the Tories, because they make us feel disillusioned and apathetic about politics, which is exactly how they would like us to feel.
They actually want people like us too feel like politics is completely fake and disengaging, and that all politicians are evasive and untrustworthy so that we don't even bother to go out and vote.
Returning to those of us who actually like Theresa May's broken robot impression, it just goes to show how badly the British education system has been failing that millions of people can overlook the fact that Theresa May constantly evades the questions she's asked in order to repeat her robotic sound bites.
The fact that she repeatedly and contemptuously evades questions in order to spout the same bunch of propaganda tropes should obviously be the first thing people notice, but it's not.
This failure to spot the bad faith debating tactics, and actual approval of her endlessly repeated sound bites is indicative of what happens when generations of children are subjected to an education system that is based on rote learning and repetition, not the development of strong critical thinking skills.
What can we do to combat this problem?
My honest answer is that I don't know. Maybe the sleepwaking political rote learners can never be engaged because the process of us actually talking about stuff like political policies, critical thinking skills and good faith debating tactics is a jarringly uncomfortable to them as the endlessly repeated reality-reversing propaganda tropes they adore are to us?
I guess the only option is to be optimistic and to hope that it'll be possible to actually get through to the sleepwalking political rote learners at some point, otherwise we'll be doomed to suffer listening to the political class spout these kinds of alienating, cognitive dissonance inducing, reality-reversing political propaganda tropes for the rest of our god-damned lives.
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