We’re finally back in an election year, and if you’re like me, you’re hoping that we get someone new in office. For months now, we’ve been watching the debates and where each candidate stands on different issues. Personally, I tapped out of the debates back in November because I have a pretty good idea on where each candidate stands, and it’s just become repetitive at this point.
Aside from all of the news around the candidates and where they stand on different issues, we’re being flooded with other news about who is endorsing who. As someone who is fascinated with psychology and human behavior, candidate endorsements hurt my soul. Groupthink is one of the worst epidemics that the human race has been enduring since the dawn of man.
Candidate endorsements are used both as a tool to boost a candidate’s image as well as a weapon to tear a candidate down. Most recently, there was major controversy when Joe Rogan said he’d “probably vote for Bernie”, and Sanders ended up using that clip in an ad.
Whenever I see endorsements of any kind for a candidate, it makes me lose a little faith in humanity because of the underlying problem; we’re too lazy to do our own research, so we’ll just go with who others like.
The Ignorance of Crowds
I’ve become extremely interested in crowd psychology since my own run-in with an online hate mob coming after me in 2019. I spent months learning everything I could on the topic. When crowds get together, every ounce of rationality flies out the window, and people act in ways they would never act as an individual.
The anonymity of crowds makes people lose their anonymity. At it’s worse, we see riots destroying neighborhoods, but the everyday crowd psychology we see involves voting for people we know nothing about. Our laziness combine with human nature makes is lose independent thought and follow the rest of the crowd.
Celebrities are Just Normal People
We idolize celebrities in an insane way. What’s even worse is due to the way we treat celebrities, their egos explode, and they believe they’re a credible source to chime in on topics they know little about. We’ve somehow managed to equate popularity and financial status and knowledge on a particular subject.
Just because someone is an awesome actor, actress or musician doesn’t mean they know a damn thing about politics. If we’re being honest with ourselves, a majority of people who voted for Trump thought it was a great idea because he has money. The thought process was, “Well, if he made a lot of money, he must know how to fix our economy.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m still broke as hell.
Who Cares Who Obama Endorses?
USA Today ran an article back in November about who former democratic candidates are endorsing. People are also chomping at the bit to see who other politicians endorse. I also remember when AOC endorsed Bernie Sanders, and it was major news.
How is that even news?
Listen, I get it. If you like the way a certain politician does things, their endorsement might help you make a better decision, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. Politics are a messy game, but you also need to be an independent thinker.
When candidate endorsements are shoved down our throats, I personally take it as an insult. I see it as them saying, “You’re not smart enough to think on your own, so how about you just do what this person thinks you should do.”
We’re all extremely busy, every election matters, and you should know where the current candidates stand on different issues. I don’t care how you vote, but if you’re going to vote, I think you should have a better reason for why you’re voting than just saying, “Well, [insert celebrity here] likes them, so I like them too.”
As a culture, we all need to be encouraging independent thinking and research rather than just reading headlines to minimize the effort we put into everyday decisions as well as who will be the next leader of our country.