I’ve just realized the Pied Piper strategy for each party.
You might recall back in the run up to the 2016 election, during the primaries, that Hillary’s chief of staff John Podesta wrote an email suggesting that the Clinton campaign prop up the Trump campaign in the media, so as to hopefully push the Republican party towards Trump in the general election. That way, they could run against the most extreme elements of that party. John Podesta called this the “pied piper” strategy, within which Trump was the pied piper leading the Republican party to its most offensive extremes.
We can thank whomever gave Podesta’s emails to Wikileaks for providing us with clear evidence of this strategy at the highest level. It doesn’t just seem like the major political parties are doing this. They are.
I propose the obvious, that there is a parallel strategy among Republicans, to push Democrats toward the extremes of their party, so as to be able to run against that party, framing itself to independents as the party of common sense.
The love them some AOC on FOX, not just to outrage their audience and keep them tuned in, but because their negative attention only increases her profile on the other side. If all those FOXnuts hate AOC, she must be awesome… or so the logic goes.
The strategy is the same on both sides: normalize your own extremes by pushing the other side further out. The crazier you are, the saner I become.
Breaking the Bank
The Russian strategy, insofar as it has been sensibly described, has been to aid both sides in this game and so drive the political culture toward increasing polarization. Remember that America defeated the Soviet Union by encouraging its internal dissolution. The Russian intelligence services mean to repay the favor.
Hence the strange spectacle of people endlessly paranoid about Russians subverting our country and yet completely committed to passionately participating in the very strategy the real Russians have employed to do just that.
Or is it “the real Russians”? Just whose plan is this?
I really don’t know, and I can’t help but remember that in the immediate years prior to 2016, we were already swimming in Civil War messages. The Big Question, as I see it, is at what point does synchronistic memetic emergence end and some sort of Grand Conspiracy begin?
This, incidentally, is the zone of profound ambiguity that Paul Maud’Dib singularly mastered. He learned to play Societal Time, to form the social reality as it emerged from the collective unconscious.