October 28, 2021

Entitlement, tribalism, insincerity and comedy

Every day sincere political commentators express surprise at how people, of the right in the main, appear not to understand the fact about the important political issues of the day.

For example, Stuart Lee, talking to Owen Jones a few days ago, expressed surprise about Ted Cruz’s recent tween about the Paris Climate Deal. Cruz tweeted that Joe Biden, in recommitting the United States to the deal, cares more about the citizens of Paris than blue collar workers in the US energy sector.

Lee and Owen express incredulity that Cruz could say something like that when it wasn’t true. Lee pointed out that he doubted Cruz believed it. The implication was that Cruz was manipulating his followers, who would believe it.

I doubt many of Cruz’s followers really do believe what he said. But I do think they enjoy hearing it, they want to hear their politicians saying things like that. In other words I think that both Cruz and his followers are deliberately insincere. The insincerity is manifest in comedic deformations of the truth and deliberate misunderstanding of what is going on.

Cruz and his followers are a people with a sense of entitlement. The message is ‘we hate people who don’t want what we want’, ‘we hate people who have different interests to us’, ‘we hate people who don’t share the vision we have of our own superiority’ and ‘we hate democracy’ because it gives all those people, who stand in opposition to what we believe and ourselves, respect, equality before the law and a voice. We therefore hate democratic debate.

The comedic deformations of the truth are therefore a deliberate mocking of democratic debate; they are the clarion call of the entitled class, who are using the megaphone given to them by the democratic process, to rally their troops.

The challenge is then laid down to political commentators, who have traditionally acted on the basis that those people who play a role in the democratic process, and who gain political power through the democratic process, are being genuine when they speak as representatives, and in their national parliaments. Political commentators thus parrot what the politicians say, but in so doing the only recharge the batteries of a movement, whose interest is to destroy the political process, which political commentators see their role as advancing and strengthening.