17 October 2020

The Politics of Hobbits, Hooligans, and Wonks

A group on one side of the river sees a group on the other side. They holler across, "How do we get to the other side?"
The other group looks at each other perplexed and then one hollers back, "You ARE on the other side."

Here's an interesting idea. (Not mine.)

When it comes to politics, there are three groups: Hobbits, Hooligans and Wonks.

Hobbits really don't want to be bothered with politics. They want their second breakfast, their pipe and a fire in the evening. They find political discussions unsettling.

Hooligans are here to cheer for their team, even turn over cars if their team loses (or is it if their team wins?). If they're a Padres fan, they will cheer loudly for the Padres no matter how bad or good, benevolent or ill-tempered are the players that particular year. In politics, they have their "team," and regardless of the gaffes, flaws and policy pronouncements of their candidate, they cheer loudly for them and will defend them.

Wonks are the weirdest ones in the bunch. They love data, discussions on whether this policy or that will do more to increase income and lower poverty. They wonder if particular economies create particular cultures or vice versa. They like graphs, numbers and comparisons.

You can - and will - have very different conversations with Hobbits, Hooligans and Wonks.

Now let me share some fascinating data with you that suggests that generations raised in relative security are more likely to be open to immigrants and value self-expression and generations raised in relative scarcity are more like to seek out strong, autocratic leaders to defend the group from "them."

No comments: