According to Dale Purves what we hear is often determined by our Darwinian programming which filters out sounds that don’t help us reproduce.
Purves points to the McGurk Effect:
How does this apply to modern politics?
As mentioned in a previous post Lord Ashcroft has released Hopes and Fears based on polling he did in the US 2016 Presidential election.
In it he publishes a graph of how voters from different points in the political spectrum responded to controversial questions such as whether Barack Obama was born outside the USA or if Hillary Clinton is ‘culpable for murder’.
Here are some of the results:
Given the McGurk Effect, it’s not hard to see how easily clickbait, fake news and filter bubbles feed off our predictable irrationality and confirmation bias.
This cognitive perfect storm creates blindspots in society that allow vast chunks of the population to ditch their own interests and plump for Trump.
The current US President once said he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and he wouldn’t lose a single vote.
By reading the crowd and making the right noises, Trump has been able to say and do anything and still win.
The McGurk Effect doesn’t just apply to Trump’s high visibility and invincibility but also to the powerlessness of his voters.
Steve Bannon now supposedly runs America on behalf of the American People but very little about him is known. Bannon may have helped Trump tap into voters’ fears and anxieties but will he help deliver a better economy in time for re-election in 2020?
In an age of populism and demagoguery Bannon and Trump have somehow ended up delivering for Goldman Sachs — the ultimate con.
Trump, May, & Farage deliver the anti-establishment messages but it’s Steve Bannon, Rupert Murdoch and Goldman Sachs who really benefit.