In an election battle, it is not who is right that counts, but who is right. This sometimes makes campaigns and debates entertainment, but more often a source of great irritation. Logic loses out to rhetoric. But as an audience, this is partly our own fault, because we determine what scores. A series by philosopher Arno Bouwes on logic and illogic in election time.
A good election slogan does not repel potential voters, it attracts them. The best slogans that they will print using the best printers such as ‘printer for avery labels‘ are a mirror in which everyone can see their own preferences reflected. The PvdA wants to “Move forward together. Let’s build the Netherlands together that everyone can be proud of”, D’66 “gets it done. Good work, good education, good care” and for the VVD it’s about “Normal. Doing it. . ” They are slogans that you can hardly disagree with, because moving forward, normal and good can mean something different for everyone. Even with many points of view, you can only agree. Hugo Borst visited all political parties and discovered to his great surprise that they all really want the same thing: good care. But of course, the party that strives for bad care, bad work, and bad education has yet to be founded. In the run-up to the elections, there is, therefore, a lot of shouting, but little said. Precisely because it is too little about the content, politicians talk about each other too often. Rutte lies, Buma is a pouting toddler, Jesse Klaver is a bad imitation of Obama and Wilders is insipid and indecent. The other is no good, but this doesn’t tell me who to vote for.
Everyone wants a better, just society that you can be proud of. But what does this look like? Nobody wants ambulance personnel to be abused, annoying neighbors, pollution, or heavy taxes. But how do we achieve this and what do we sacrifice for this? In other words: what are the choices we will soon face as a voter? If you are in doubt about who to vote for, you can start by asking yourself the following two questions: 1. What are the parties saying about their own content? And especially 2. Do they say something that you can also disagree with? A statement that you cannot disagree with is almost always meaningless.
The problem with meaningless positions is that political policy must eventually become concrete. The content comes later and with it the disagreement, division, and disappointment. The care plan will not get off the ground like this, Elke1 will simply become everyone for himself again and the new prime minister will (again) turn out to be a disappointment. You had imagined something different about “the Netherlands you can be proud of.” So let’s hope for election debates with propositions and substantiation that you can wholeheartedly agree with, but especially disagree with so that there is a clear choice in the elections.