The left uses drama to garner political power. In Karpman’s ‘Drama Triangle’ of victims, villains, and heroes, the villains abuse victims and the heroes rescue them. The left has grabbed the role of being the hero by encouraging groups to view themselves as victims and to view conservative politicians and business leaders as villains who persecute them.
The drama triangle is traditionally applied in family dynamics. Victims are those who wallow in their helplessness. They seek someone to rescue them from their perception that their troubles are being caused by a villain or persecutor. Heroes enable the victims to remain in a state of perceived inability to help themselves.
Much of the drama created by the left involves money and envy. This is surprising because the American economy and various free market economies throughout the world are engines of prosperity. It is prosperity that enables societies to achieve many of its most treasured goals. Market-based economies have defeated totalitarianism, provided resources to clean up the air and water, reduced starvation and lengthened life expectancies.
Yet, somehow, the left has pulled off the incredible feat of casting capitalism in a negative light and touting socialism as the solution. The wealthy have been demonized as persecuting the poor.
A key observation is that the left portrays only some of the wealthy as villains. The villains are rich white capitalists. The left focuses on the corporate executives who receive enormous salaries and ignores the football players, basketball players, boxers, soccer players, golfers, recording artists, actors, authors, and so forth who receive even greater payoffs. Of course the left never disparages wealthy left-leaning politicians.
The left has somehow managed to portray the $1 billion plus earned each by Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus (for playing golf!) as less worrisome than similar amounts earned by corporate executives overseeing the massive corporations that meet our material needs and desires. How can golfers and other entertainers be viewed as deserving billion dollar payoffs while corporate leaders are viewed as leeches? Can anyone seriously contend that corporate leaders cannot create more value than a golfer?
Revenue and profit are indicators of the value created by an organization. Apple Inc. has total revenues of over $250 billion per year while the Seattle Seahawks football team has revenues of less than $0.5 billion per year. Yet the two highest paid executives at Apple (Angela Ahrendts and Tim Cook) are each paid less than the highest-paid player on the Seattle Seahawks.
The reason that the left rants about CEO salaries and ignores those of entertainers is very simple: people cannot be made to feel victimized by entertainers. But most workers can easily be drawn into believing that their relatively low wages are the direct result of the undeserved salaries of the top 1%. A person of ordinary skills and wages (or no job at all) feels better blaming others when the market provides large rewards to others.
Clearly, people paying hundreds of dollars to see top sporting events or concerts cannot be convinced to view themselves as victims. But people on public assistance and those in low-skill jobs want to believe that they are victims of persecution. The left is happy to fuel that rage.
The web search “highest paid Americans” will bring up scores of sites listing CEOs but few featuring entertainers or politicians who earn much more. Consider the Obamas and Clintons who have turned their years of “public service” into tens of millions of dollars through a few hours spent on public appearances and books.
America is a critical fork in the road. Americans viewing themselves as capable will vote for free markets in seeking continued economic growth. Those adopting the victim role will vote to surrender their freedom to the left.
America’s future will be determined with tweets, not platforms. It will be based on headlines, not footnotes. It will be about emotion and drama, not logic and evidence. Political victory will be won with imagery, not factual correctness. And it will be won by the left if capitalists are viewed as villains and persecutors.