What we see in the InternetMana ‘Fuck John Key’ video is real people expressing real political emotions. Politicians shouldn’t be offended – they should be wondering what it takes to get the same reaction from their potential supporters.
The video reveals the sort of raw and raucous expression of opinion that occurs when you reach out to people – when you strike a chord.
The alarmed reaction from the commentariat and twitterati reveals the extent to which the ruling elite are simply not comfortable with real people being political.
And here lies the problem at the heart of the professional era of politics; the failure to understand or connect with the untidiness of real people.
Every politician secretly dreams of stirring an audience to chanting. But that requires emotion. And emotion has been sanitised from politicians, their policies, and even their interactions with the public.
Politics, or vote winning, is about inspiring and motivating. It’s an emotional exercise first, and an intellectual exercise second.
The thing about emotions is that they can be challenging… uncomfortable… risky.
This frightens and eludes most political operators because they fancy themselves as intellectuals. But even in this endeavour, they are self-limiting. They create political positions to satisfy their peers, not the public.
Politics ought to be emotional. And the ideas ought to spring from, or resonate with, the voters.
The results are not always pretty. But it’s damn well honest, and its very effective.
The chant was spontaneous. But the conditions for it were planned a long time ago. InternetMana will now ride that emotion.
Rather than fulminate, politicians should risk a bit of emotion for themselves. They might like it. The voters will like it.