Why do people "shoot the messenger"?
like being the bearer of bad news, for good reason: Not only are we beings who cling to first impressions, we're terribly
short-sighted and reactive, and notoriously bad at introspection.
most us, at some point, gotten so frustrated at a friend or partner
who kept accusing us of the very thing they keep doing wrong?
you grow older, you realize how this works. You grow up with a certain
world view, and with certain norms. Everyone is more or less like you in
certain regards, and in those regards, because you're all the same, it
is impossible to know in just how many regards you really are the same.
Until you first
come in contact with people who subscribe to other norms. When this
happens, you are utterly surprised. It's like you just assumed everyone
was "human" just like you, and when you realize that they're not
you're greeted with a kind of surprised shock that soon turns into blame.
"They're different". I'm right. They're wrong! You're not different! No!
But in that
difference, so are you, to them. It's like a mirror - difference to you,
is difference to them. In them, although you don't necessarily see it
that way, you see your own difference.
It's similar to one partner in a relationship deceiving the other, and in so doing, becoming riddled with feelings of guilt and becoming increasingly suspicious of their partner - because they are attuned to suspicion.
Its similar to when being afraid of something bad happening, and actually preparing for it, then when you have prepared, it feels like you have nothing to lose... so given the opportunity, you trigger that bad thing happening. You're ready. I can almost hear your subconscious say: "Let's test this."
In the interests of saving space, I'll bring this right back to politics. Politics is about perception management... it's about what is plausible, however ungrounded in reality - if it is plausible a lot of it sticks. And so, power mongers, even if they can't find any dirt, will use the media to see what dirt they can fabricate that will stick on their opponents.
What if the dirt they dig up is more of a reflection of their own world view, than it is of that opponent? What if the opponent becomes the messenger, and a mirror for this evil they oppose? And in our naive belief of the media, we pin it all on the wrong candidate?
How do we overcome this cognitive dissonance? How do we overcome the media fueled bias of a nation, if few are even aware of it? It's like the devil pointing to his most successful subjects, and saying, look! Evil! And while we're distracted tackling that small evil, we are tackled by the biggest evil yet.
This is power mongering 101. Sun Tzu said: "All warfare is based on deception." Perhaps this is why. This is also why we can't ignore evil, nor can we focus on it too much. If we focus on it too much, it consumes us. If we ignore it, we don't see it coming. We just need to have a keen awareness of its true source and how that reflects in those that highlight it to us.