Sorry Hillary, Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils is Textbook Blame-Shifting


Of all the redundant and generally loathesome reasons for continuing to support the two-party duopoly that constitutes the electoral oligarchy upon which the global corporate empire we know and love maintains the most threadbare pretenses of democratic legitimacy, surely none are relied on more heavily than the old lesser-of-two-evils argument: which is to say, we must support the candidate we find the least hateful to reason and basic decency. As it happens, this is not only a repulsive line of thinking, it is also textbook blame shifting.

Referring to the textbook, we find that blame shifting typically involve psychological strategies like playing the victim, victim blaming, demonizing our enemies, refusing to admit responsibility for wrongdoing, and articulating self-defenses in absolute terms, typically by refusing to acknowledge any difference between criticism of our behavior or policies and attacks on our person and rights. The latter most commonly manifests as the ‘with us or against us’ fallacy, which despite commonly being associated with former President George ‘Dubya’ Bush, is surprisingly common, as its repeated appearance in the Bible (eg. Matthew 12:30, Luke 9:50, Mark 9:40) seems to suggest.

Social psychology classes this particular group of behaviors as ‘moral disengagement,’ or the subjective mechanisms we use to neutralize our conscience and reconstruct actions as just and morally legitimate that might be interpreted as unethical,…

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