Monday, 8 November 2004

who we trust

on US banknotes is printed the inscription "in god we trust". this is apparently the country's national moto as passed by an act of congress which might explain why so many people voted for george w. in the recent election. this christian notion of blind faith as some kind of virtue may help to explain why americans don't care if their president seems to be a moron - god will fix it. after all i am told that a majority of us citizens actually believe they have their own guardian angel;-)

so much for the US but why did the australian elections follow such a similar pattern. people here voted for john howard despite his solid record as a liar.

maybe it is a case of “the devil you know” but I think there is more to it than that. I think it is because both bush and howard can be trusted, the first to be incompetent and the second to be a liar. when i look at either john kerry or mark latham (the respective challengers), i see complex faces of men who may not be so easy to figure out. they just don’t look trustworthy. although i believe both men may well have been better candidates, there is something intuitive that seems to warn us against choosing a complex person as a leader. We are happier to choose somebody with a vacant look (bush) or a selfish/deceitful look (howard), even knowing how bad they will be.

i am not sure why we behave like this but I’m sure the explanation has some genetic-evolutionary explanation.