Politics, Emotion and Reason, By Simbo Olorunfemi
It is the season. Again. The nearer the election season draws, the more the gulf widens between Emotion and Reason. Not that there is anything wrong with emotion. As a matter of fact, it has its place. It is a tool that can be deployed to certain ends in the hands of those who know how to plug into it or even manipulate it for the purpose of set objectives.
But it is the tendency for emotion to masquerade as reason that often shortchanges it, often meeting its expectations or projections with disappointment, because it is usually not founded on reason, nor backed by the force of facts or reality that should ordinarily temper its expectation.
READ ALSO: Obasanjo: Why I Abandoned Arabic School
But it is the season. Once it is the season, people set up camps to project what they will like to see. But rather than letting the moment dictate the future they expect or project, they will rather their preferences or prejudices dictate to them what the future will be.
But the future cannot be a prisoner to one ambition, preference or projection, the future will eventually manifest as a child of the moment. Where that coincides with a projection or expectation, it is what it is, the projection is only a vuvuzela for what the moment has purposed. So, what is of utmost importance is identifying what the voice of the moment is, knowing what the moment is saying. But emotion and the art of listening are hardly the best of friends. That, indeed, is where the problem with punching the cards with the fingers of emotion, mistaking it for analysis, lies.
Indeed, most political watchers are Fans, powered by the fickleness of emotion, even if they do not understand or will not agree to it. The fan is so overtaken by the supposed strengths or qualities he assumes of his preference that he is given to an exaggeration of his prospect while shutting his eyes to the weaknesses and the red flags.
For the strategic and analytical mind, it is never that straightforward. It is, for the truly professional-minded, a dispassionate interrogation of an aspiration within the multidimensional context of what it is, what it was and what could be. He is as mindful of the strengths and opportunities as he is interested in the weaknesses and threats. He is cautious, investing thought and energy into an understanding and analysis of history and data, with a view to decoding what the moment portends.
Once emotion is set aside, it becomes easy to see that it is the configuration of the moment, the nature and quality of the fight that determines the best fit for the moment.
It is always more about the moment than anything else.