Messiah is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “A leader regarded as the saviour of a particular country, group, or cause”. In modern times we have witnessed the return of messianic politics to the mainstream on both sides of the political spectrum. Each side of the political spectrum has their own messiah, their messiah’s apostles and the lay followers who spread the word of the Messiah.
However, to be fair, messianic politics are not new in any shape or form. Political messiahs have littered the annals of history with mixed results but never have delivered truly what they promised. Hitler promised the German people salvation from their woes, they ended up defeated and occupied by the allied powers and having their own form of government chosen for them. Chavez promised justice and fairness for all Venezuelans, his actions have contributed heavily to the current crisis Venezuela is experiencing at the time of writing. These are just two widely known examples of messianic politics leading to the destruction of the people who wanted to be saved.
Unfortunately, the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis has led to a fresh crop of new messiahs, each promising their followers political salvation in return for their loyalty. This is a disappointing but inevitable turn of events, for only the truly desperate turn to the false messiahs. That is not say everyone falls for the lies they propagate, or that there is always a section of society which wants simple answers to what are on the whole complex issues.
Democracy is not sustainable in a climate where the leader’s word is final and the equivalent to holy scripture to their followers. The followers will only destroy the necessary democratic safeguards in their naive and misguided view that only their messianic leader can save them from the troubles which beset them.
As the young turn increasingly to the socialist false messiahs to solve their issues and the worried turn to the right to protect them from what they perceive as dangers, it is only a matter of time until our democracy is damaged beyond repair. This is because neither side offers an effective solution to the problems which we are currently facing.
The underlying factor behind this recent endorsement of messianic politics in action is the naivety and desperation of the voter. If you are poor and do not have economic security for no fault of your own or are worried about perceived external threats, it is understandable that you would turn to your messiah to solve your problems. However, this faith, in the truest sense of the word, is misplaced, often flawed and on the whole deceitful to people.
The unfortunate truth is that no man or woman regardless of their political policies and beliefs alone can save us from the threats we face as a nation and a race on this globe. It is also true that no private individual by their own can change the world, except in extraordinary circumstances. Reality is that only as individuals working together in a rational, sane and non-ideological way can we attempt to solve the problems we face jointly.
Of course, it would be nice if one person could alleviate us from our worldly woes and deliver us to a better place on this mortal plane but that isn’t reality. That type of stuff is and should be confined to holy books. Indeed, we can debate if faith is a positive or negative but I think we can all agree it is not a sound system for governing. Absolute faith requires the shutting down of critical analytical skills required for the governing of ourselves.
Which is why I am alarmed equally by the Cult of Corbyn and the Cult of Brexit or in the case of the United States, the Cult of Trump and the Cult of Bernie Sanders and Cortez. These people are frauds and liars and they promise things they can never achieve in the hope of attracting new followers to their cause. Unfortunately, I think Sanders and Cortez actually believe their own claptrap, whilst I think Trump doesn’t believe half of what he says most of the time.
Especially in regards to the Cults of Corbyn, Sanders and Cortez, I think they are so deluded in their own views, they think the ideas they espouse would be genuinely good for their respective nations and peoples. This is the worst kind of political messiah because whilst others are cynics who exploit the desperation and naivety of the masses, the political messiahs who believe their own message will do anything to achieve their own goals.
In addition, the followers of particularly left-wing political cults are so blinkered in their own beliefs that they are happy to damage the economy in order to achieve their goals. This can extend to even ruining economic chances of areas if the employer is considered evil. This is the case in as I like to call it Amazon versus the Left of New York. This is also an example of how true faith in the left wing cause can make people see in only black and white at the expense of their own people.
Billions of dollars of investment gone because Amazon is “evil”, it is a joke of the worst kind. Is there no self-awareness in these people? Yes, Amazon isn’t perfect but to deny people and communities investment because of your personal view of Amazon is ridiculous.
Every cause should be taken on its own merits and not seen through the prism of ideology unnecessarily. Yes, political beliefs are vital to our political life, but they must not be applied at the expense of those who we should be assisting. Investment is an investment and a job is a job. We can debate whether an investor or employer is ethical, but this has to be done logically, not whether it aligns with your own political beliefs. The world is not black and white and never has been, we need to realise this.
Unfortunately for us, there seems to be no ending to this litany of falsehoods and undeliverable promises. This is a challenge and a threat but not one we can’t overcome with a bit of common sense and applied logic.
For one we need to ask the tough questions. Is this offer too good to be true? How are we going to pay for this? These types of questions will make sure that those on both sides of the political spectrum who wish to exploit cannot do so. Obviously, the left will say these types of questions are cynical, but they are required questions, especially in this age of false messiahs and prophets.
I for one, hope that the false messiahs have their halos stripped from their heads at the ballot box. It is my hope that Sanders loses his seat and is relegated to the dithering old man that he truly is, and I also hope that Trump faces justice for his corruption and lies to both investigators and the American people. It is not my decision, but I’ll invest some of my faith in humanity. It will decide whether we can find a true solution to the problems we face or we fall into the same fate that civilizations and peoples across the millennia have been given.