Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

How power-hungry politicians divide and conquer

There's a reason people are "triggered" during voting time.

BILL EDDY: So high-conflict politicians — or what I call "wannabe kings"— because that's really what they want. They want to take over and eliminate opposition. How they effectively gain power in an election — and we're not talking about people that just became dictators from a war or something. We're talking about people getting elected. And what happens is they put out all this emotional message — all these emotional words. And these emotional words tend to trigger people into four different groups.

And I call this the four-way voter split. What happens is, they are loving loyalists. They seduce by saying, you're wonderful. You and I want the same thing. We know and believe in all of that. It's really calculated, because most of these politicians shift all over politically to see what works to get them power. What the loving loyalists want to hear. And so the loving loyalists just go, we love this person. And then they change their policy. It's all right. We're already in love. So that's maybe 30% of people. Then on the other side of that, they trigger the riled-up resisters.

And the riled-up resisters are emotionally hooked and they're angry. They don't like this person. They see this person as very dangerous and a threat to society. And we've got to do something about this person. But they're emotionally engaged as well. Then there's the mild moderates. And to some extent, they're stuck. They don't know. Well, is this different? Or is this politics? And they generally view it through the lens of-- this is politics. So if they're on our side politically, we'll support them. But we don't like the personality. We wish the person would stop talking so much. And if they're on the other side, they go, we don't like this personality. But we really don't like his politics. But they're kind of mild moderates. So they're not really emotionally activated. In fact, they may actually be emotionally intimidated, because they don't want to get fired upon by the verbal tongue-lashing that HCPs are always putting out.

But then the fourth group is the disenchanted drop-outs. And these folks feel emotionally pushed away. It's like, just leave me out of this. I'm not political. I don't want to be involved. In all the countries where we see high-conflict politicians rising to leadership, there's a huge percentage of people that emotionally drop out. And so they don't need a majority of people. Typically, they may have 40%, maybe 45% of the vote. But these high-conflict politicians rarely get over 50%. But because they're able to divide these other groups — that they push away the disenchanted drop-out so they just don't vote. And the riled-up resisters go with, maybe, extreme candidates who don't have a chance. And the mild moderates often have a candidate that has a chance.

But the moderates and the resisters are opposing each other, mostly because the high-conflict politician has divided them. And so what we see, over and over again around the world, is they're getting into power with less than a majority of people, because they're able to divide this four-way voter split.

  • People seeking to win an election often use emotional words to trigger voters.
  • These emotional words tend to trigger people into four different groups: loyalists, riled-up resisters, mild moderates, and disenchanted drop-outs.
  • What we see today is people getting into power with less than a majority of people because they're able to divide this four-way voter split.


LIVE ON MONDAY | "Lights, camera, activism!" with Judith Light

Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
Keep reading Show less

Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

    Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

    Credit: Neom
    Technology & Innovation
    • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
    • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
    • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

    Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

    Videos
    • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
    • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
    • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

    Quantcast