ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

How do Right Wing win when their policies are unpopular?

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left_right.jpgFirst of all, to the uninitiated, what is right wing and left wing? Right wing parties are for open economy, no Govt control, no subsidy, no freebies, all private. They believe competition is better for economy. Work hard and get reward. Left wing parties are for equal distribution of wealth. They believe Govt should take control and provide help to the poor. Basic human right to food and shelter. Top 1% should not get all.

If you see Left speaks for the lower strata of economy, which makes the majority as wealth lies in the hands of top 1%. This makes Right wing beliefs unpopular, correct? Only prosperous people should be supporting them. By this logic Right wing parties should never be able to win any democratic election. But as you will see over the years, they do win. How are they able to get popular vote with their unpopular policies?

This question has confounded me too. But as always, there has to be an answer. Below is what I think. Right wing parties can never win a democratic election with their governance and economic policies. So they downplay these policies during elections. All Right (or center-Right), have a secondary poll plank, which they use to win election. It is either Security or God or Morality. Let me give you an example.

In United States, Republicans are the Right wing. Their secondary plank is Fear of Terrorism. They promise to keep the country secure with heavy hand. They stand for anti-abortion and anti-gay (they say it is anti-God). They have been able to drum up support on these issues over the years and have carried out their economic policies easily.

Even in India if you see, BJP, the Right wing, plays Hindutva card (their secondary poll plank), without which it will not be possible for them to win an election. Widespread corruption has also helped them as of now, to drum up support for their economic policies. However it will be tough in the long run.

I am not questioning either Right or Left economic policies here. What my intention is to understand how the Right has withstood the democracy. This has been the case historically. With time the anti-gay and anti-abortion rhetoric will subside. But playing on fear and immigrants will remain.

In last 200 years or so, with the advent of democracy, Right and Left both has started to move towards center. In my opinion they will become identical in due time. BJP’s decision to continue MNREGA and Food Security points to that. Advent of Liberal Donald Trump as frontrunner Republican in US is another classical example.

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Written by arpitgarg

February 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

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