BG 148 – Populist politicians

The political debate was once a – combative – exchange of points of view and arguments of representatives of the people in order to reach agreement in the interests of the people. Nowadays it seems to be a stage for megalomaniac narcissists to present themselves to their followers.

Populists are people who manipulate you (frighten and reassure you) for their own sake and for their own popularity, through lies. Fortunately, democracy doesn’t end when populist leaders tell untruths. Most of the politicians and journalists just keep doing what they are supposed to do and keep refuting. This also gives the people the opportunity to pierce through shameless inaccuracies.

It is not out of malice that people (especially online) get trapped in a narrow-minded group bubble of conspiracy theorists and propagators, but rather out of stupidity, confusion and fear, as we as humans are confronted with accelerating changes in our society, and with large and sometimes frightening global challenges, such as the destruction of nature, climate change, globalization and far-reaching automation. Denial of reality (burying your head in the sand) and longing for a romanticized past then seem attractive options. And modern technology is driving the growth and maintenance of such virtual bubbles.

If we want to make more progress in politics and tackle the problems that come our way efficiently and decisively, we will have to burst those bubbles. We will also have to reduce the number of political parties to a workable minimum and open up again to the views and arguments of the other. The other who thinks and lives differently than we do, but is therefore not our ‘adversary’. The political debate must again focus on reaching agreement in the interest of the people. Not the self-interest of the political leaders, but tackling the most urgent problems must once again be top of the agenda.

Use your common sense and don’t believe nonsense, however appealing and comforting it may sound at times, such as: ‘Global warming is a fabrication of our adversaries’. Instead, think about what you can do as a step in the right direction. Because if all people take such steps, we can achieve a lot together. Much more than politicians talking out of their necks.