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Ballots and Brains-A political horror show

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Photo provided by Arnaud Jaegers

I recently watched a very scary horror flick called Invasion of the Zombie Voters. This movie is about a country that maintains a completely dysfunctional political system that has been usurped by a bunch of rich oligarchs who serve only other rich people. As a result, this particular country has a constant, neverending problem with an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

As the movie progresses, the voting public, rather than rising up, getting organized and fixing the broken political system, instead descends into a morass of very bad societal habits such as hedonism and overconsumption. This process is aided by a completely dysfunctional media system—are we starting to notice a pattern yet?—that serves up an unhealthy portion of confirmation bias to its viewers or listeners on a daily basis. This phenomenon of confirmation bias helps to squelch the critical-thinking process and subsequently has the effect of turning most voters into a bunch of sniveling tribalists.

In one very important part of the movie, a local politician in one of the more small-to-midsize counties in this particular country has degrees in environmental science, yet spends their entire political career promoting overpopulation in their representative area as a force for economic growth. These critical scenes help to illustrate that in the later stages of this failing democracy, the situation has degraded to the point whereby local politicians are now just as worthless as the ones at the national level.

Towards the end of the movie things get so bad that citizens actually start thinking it is OK to vote for politicians who are megalomaniacs or hardcore Wall Street sell-outs who have dementia. In the end—Spoiler Alert!—the movie winds up having basically the exact same ending as the original version of the movie Lord of the Flies.

I contacted the producers of the movie to see if there might be a possibility of a sequel with an alternative, happy ending. They said maybe, but things aren’t looking too good right now.

Doug Haymaker lives in Santa Rosa.