Exhausted Majority

The Exhausted Majority (EP.75)

In Identity Politics, Podcast by Will Luden0 Comments

Summary

Does anyone remember the phrase “The Silent Majority” from the late 60s and 70s? It was used by Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, quite successfully, to portray a group of citizen voters who, while relatively quiet, were fed up with, and by possession of larger numbers, could outvote the activists on the other side. Nixon won by a landslide in ‘72, winning 49 of 50 states

There are those who believe that Trump had a version of Nixon’s Silent Majority, with those “hidden” voters confounding almost all of the pundits, allowing him to win 30 states, and 306 of the available 538 electoral votes.

Let’s talk about what I see today as the Exhausted Majority.

Transcript

Does anyone remember the phrase “The Silent Majority” from the late 60s and 70s? It was used by Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, quite successfully, to portray a group of citizen voters who, while relatively quiet, were fed up with, and by possession of larger numbers, could outvote the activists on the other side. Nixon won by a landslide in ‘72, winning 49 of 50 states.

There are those who believe that Trump had a version of Nixon’s Silent Majority, with those “hidden” voters confounding almost all of the pundits, allowing him to win 30 states, and 306 of the available 538 electoral votes.

Let’s talk about what I see today as the Exhausted Majority.

We can start with the drawing below.

For those of you enjoying this on the podcast, it is pretty easy to imagine. We’ll get there quickly. The genesis for this drawing was me going slightly nuts trying to place myself politically on a left/right continuum. I was “left” on some things, and “right” on others. I was Politically Homeless.

The first crack in that linear, compartmentalized left/right thinking came when I heard Jimmy Carter say in 1976 that he was a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. I did not know you could do that. That reprieve from compartmentalized thinking fell apart when fiscal conservatives and social liberals started to segment themselves into differing–and warring–segments. Some fiscal conservatives insist that we go back on the gold standard, and other conservatives believe that to be insane. Some social liberals believe it is absolutely necessary to use a multitude of new pronouns, and others are certain that would be pandering to political correctness.

One one side of this drawing, I have put the folks who I see as “Disgusted and dropped out.” They have had it, and don’t want to play anymore. Somewhat understandably, they have lost faith in the process. On the other side (note the lack of terms like “left” and right”) are those for whom the system is working; I call them “Benefitting and dug in.” They really don’t care if things are right or wrong, serving the country well or not, moral or immoral; they are getting what they need. And that’s enough for them.

They rest of us I describe as “Frustrated and skeptical, but still wanting/hoping for a change.” Picture this with me, the two groups on either side, and the rest of us in the middle. For want of a better name, I call them The Exhausted Majority.

I am tempted to ask you where you see yourself, but I’d be falling into the label trap that I work so hard to avoid. Labels like LGBT, conservative, liberal, left, right and progressive put us all into frames of mind where we feel the need to attack and defend on general lines, to try to argue and debate with nothing more than cliches, sound bites and the very labels themselves as the tools of discussion. And we all know how that goes. No wonder that so many of us are exhausted.

Instead of labels, let’s try discussing our various positions on issues as conversation starters and ways of communicating thoughts and intentions. For example, instead of asking if someone is a Democrat or Republican as a way of determining their position on issues like climate change, abortion and immigration, simply introduce one of those subjects as may be appropriate. Ask the other person what their thoughts are. Then listen. Ask them why they believe what they believe. Then listen. You can gradually introduce your thoughts and beliefs in an exchange of facts and ideas–not simply warring cliches disintegrating into insults and attacks. This thoughtful exchange has a dramatically better chance of allowing you to influence others, as well as learning from them, than starting with comparing labels and going from there.

Today’s key point. Discussions, well arguments, those that start with labels, accusations and challenges are exhausting. And they are exhausting if you are a participant, or simply an observer. They are even more exhausting when we are inundated by them every time we listen, read or connect online. And trying to end the exhaustion by winning the various label-oriented arguments is like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic; we think we are doing something while in fact things are getting worse fast. Just ask the 1,503 trans-Atlantic passengers and crew who went down with the unsinkable Titanic.

Links and References

Politically Homeless

The Silent Majority

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind.  You can email me at will@resultswithreason.com, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Frequency

I publish two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.

Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper.

These two main tenets apply all day, every day in so many ways and at so many times. The podcast applications are more specific:

  1. Personal Responsibility. Engage with others in the political issues you find on these podcasts. Whether or not you agree with everything your hear or read at here Results With Reason, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe, for what you know to be true.
  2. Be your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; some will understand what you saying immediately, others will not. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
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Will Luden

As an author, speaker, public company board chair, family man, a man with many friends (and friends-to-be), citizen and a child of God, I am driven to contribute. One way to for me to contribute is to start thought-provoking discussions.My overall objective is to stimulate “Passionate, Relentless, Reasoning.” My specific goals include getting people to act (only) after Reasoning.
Will Luden
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