Politics is meant to be one of those topics that you don’t bring up in polite company, along with religion. I’ve long thought this to be rather unfair. After all, if people have strong beliefs on these things, then surely they will want people to agree with them, and how can people agree with them if they don’t know their beliefs on these issues that define and change lives?
I would go so far as to say that it is absolutely crucial that the average person have at least some level of political understanding in order for society to function. Politics affects every area of our daily existence, and the democracy itself relies on the concept that ‘the people’ have enough wisdom to elect the right people to form the best government.
The thing is, the average person doesn’t have a great deal of interest in understanding politics. This has become especially true over the last few decades, as large swathes of voters have moved away from identifying with a particular party and/or ideology, having instead found that the major parties are all the same. But aside from that, the fundamentals of political belief exist in a highly theoretical realm, and most people aren’t all that interested in theory, at least not beyond how it applies to them. Give them the basics, such as the theory of ‘the left’ and ‘the right’, and of who leads each party and what that means, and they’ll say that they know pretty much all they need to know.
But what if those basics are wrong? What if the fundamentals of how we understand politics have actually been leading us astray, and have resulted in the ever increasing disconnect between politics and the people? …