Friday, September 5, 2008

I generally hate them. I feel like politics brings the worst out of everyone. I feel elections bring the worst to the forefront. I find it hard to pay attention to politics and not get utterly depressed. With that said, I have some thoughts on the current situation.

While I was shocked at the McCain/Palin ticket, I have thus far been much more shocked by the reaction of the majority of those who oppose McCain/Palin, Republicans, conservatism etc. In some of the mainstream media, in the blogosphere, in the twittersphere, and in friendfeed, I've found it odd that everyone's reaction seems to be that she is a good pick from the democratic perspective and that McCain clearly made a mistake. They then go on to demonstrate factual evidence about her inexperience, her unfactual statements, and all of the controversial aspects about her personal and professional life. While I agree with most of what is being talked about, and I think it is really important, I find it upsetting that few seem to recognize that this is only one perspective to look at the situation with. This is largely a perspective that values "truth" and the facts. Coming from this perspective, the world operates and relies on truth and thus untruth cannot prevail. This translates to the idea that if we expose the "truth" about McCain/Palin that Obama/Biden will inevitably win.

I find this shocking because from an integral/developmental/spiral dynamics perspective, this is just one worldview/lens with which we can look through. Namely, it is the orange scientific rational conventional worldcentric worldview. While many Americans are operating at/coming from this perspective, it is not the only worldview and not even a majority. More strikingly, it does little for any worldview below it in the developmental holarchy, which are also the worldviews the republicans get their base from. The amber/blue ethnocentric mythic membership blue collar worldview has an entirely different set of "qualifications" with which they would judge a candidate. Instead of truth, facts, logic, and experience, they are looking for whether the candidate is "one of us", "with us or against us", and thus focus a lot on values and other cultural mores (mythic god religion). The red egocentric, selfish, pre-pre conventional worldview has an even more limited perspective in which the qualifications of the candidate are more personally related and less connected to larger realities. So, they're likely to be very influenced by the people around them in influencing them about who to vote for. As egocentric, it's really about them anyway, so the choice of candidate has to do with seemingly arbitrary qualities such as "I like him", "she is funny", "he's boring", "my parents vote for them so I do to". Just like amber/blue, red relies upon logic and facts even less. Better put, they still rely on logic and facts it's just that they're egocentrically verified (in contrast to ethnocentric facts and worldcentric facts).

What this means to me is that pointing out facts from a logical scientific perspective is only one of several perspectives that needs to be addressed. And, with the issue of boomeritis, it seems like development dictates that this is a really hard task for left/democrats to accomplish because they fly predominately from orange to green. What this means is that if Obama is coming from and operates at green during the election, it will all backfire due to boomeritis. I think this is primarily what's happened for the last two elections. Democrats have come from green/orange and their green sentiments have rendered them unable to see the whole spectrum of development. As happens with boomeritis, they have come to a place of flatland where they are no longer able to make judgements and thus cannot effectively fight back against opponents. Red worldviews see this as weakness and pounce, taking the power. Since the republicans have a stranglehold on both red and amber/blue, it seems they have the developmentally demographic advantage.

However, the x-factor is second tier yellow/integral consciousness. I have read several people lamenting the absence of integral commentary on the election and specifically on Obama. I myself have been a little surprised not to read more people making declarative claims about his center of gravity. Nonetheless, I think this election will tell us both a lot about where he is coming from (green or higher?) and potentially will tell us a lot about the effectiveness of integral theory in one of the most important real world event/decisions for our future. My hypothesis is that the only way Obama can win this is if he is operating healthily from at least second tier yellow. While I suspect and hope that he is, I hesitate to understand how I am to make a judgement about any other individual's center of gravity (especially in the context that I am not so confident of knowing my own center of gravity). So, I've kind of slipped into this place where I'm allowing the outcome to tell me about the center of gravity of Obama. Consequently, I'm also putting integral theory and integral concepts up for debate because I think a great deal of evidence points to Obama being integrally minded. However, if he is not aware of and/or does not effectively address the simple problem of worldview I noted above, then I give him no chance.

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