Maslow and the Election


Maslow and the Election

As I write this at one in the afternoon on election day, I have no clue as to the potential outcomes. However, if one is to believe the media (and I don’t) the political pendulum will swing and a different looking government will be the result. I believe that will happen, but for a different reason.

If one ascribes to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you find that folks focus on food, shelter, water, and the like, and then on safety. More esoteric things like education, love, and social belonging come later. So, when we look out the window and see the sign at the filling station reminding us that gasoline has doubled in price, and that increase is reflected in the cost of food and shelter, we tend to vote for self preservation. We can sort out philosophical differences later.

When I look out the window and see homeless everywhere, when I actually know people who have been robbed and mugged, yes, I’m concerned about my safety and the safety of my family.  I then make the connection, maybe unfounded, but make the connection between those high prices, the homelessness, and the crime rate and the folks who are running the government and right or wrong, I vote for someone else.

I think that’s what is happening before our eyes. The pendulum may not swing as far as some think, or it might overwhelm the opposition, but mark my words, it is moving.

A colleague tells me that life is too binary. Things are either right or wrong, black or white, up or down. She says that’s not the way it should be. And she may be right. However, when my very ability to keep food on the table, heat during a snowstorm, or feel safe walking down the street, that comes first.

Don’t worry, after we experience a sea change and pricing is under control, cities are safe, and food is plentiful and affordable again, be it good or bad, we will start to rethink all the binary laws that were put into place, and that pendulum will start to swing back.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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