Mini Quiz – Are you Prone to Populism?

By Dr David Laing Dawson

The men (I don’t think I can accurately say men and women) who came up with our Canadian Senate (the house of sober second thought) and the complex set of checks and balances of the American Republic knew we humans were, at least quite often, drunken, impulsive, short-sighted, and stupid. They knew we often react emotionally, that we throw logic to the wind, that we forget history. They knew that we, like mice, despite hearing the snap of a trap to our left or right,  still go for the cheese. We still buy the snake oil. We still go along with the mob and chant whatever the mob is chanting.

Below is a small test to prove this point. Please answer quickly according to that first impulse, the one Populist leaders count on.

1. A lane jumper on the three lane highway pulls in front of you, slams on his brakes causing you to do the same and spill your medium regular Tim Horton’s coffee in your lap.

He should be:

A. Taken out and shot

B. Bitch slapped

C. Have his driver’s license revoked forever

D. Given a small admonishing toot of your horn.

2. A man is convicted of killing a child.

He should be:

A. Taken out and shot

B. Castrated, put in a rat infested cell, and then taken out and shot.

C. Allowed to appeal on a technicality.

D. Sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 10 years.

3. For the fourth time this summer your neighbour has dumped his tree trimmings on your side of the fence.

He should be:

A. Taken out and shot

B. The recipient of three of your bags of garbage.

C. Cursed at under your breath.

D. Forgiven because, after all, the rather dirty Mulberry tree is yours.

4.  A young man has broken into your house, stolen your jewelry, smashed your crockery, and swilled your 20 year old Scotch. He should be:

A. Taken out and shot.

B. Sent back to Jamaica.

C. Offered a community recreation center.

D. Face due process like everyone else.

5. A salesman talks your aging mother into buying  a very expensive furnace she does not need.

He should be:

A. Taken out and shot

B. Tied in a gerry chair and left in the corner of a dementia ward.

C. Arrested for fraud

D. Be reported to the Chamber of Commerce and receive a letter from your lawyer.

6. Illegal immigrants

Should be:

A. Taken out and shot

B. Rounded up and dumped in some other country.

C. Put in detention cells for 2 years and then dumped in some other country.

D. Offered a specific monitored pathway to achieve citizenship within a reasonable time frame.

7. Hillary is just a little too smug and prissy in her boxy white pant suit.

She should be:

A. Taken out and shot.

B. Locked up for life

C: Given I.T. and fashion advice

D. Elected anyway because she is actually competent

8. Those uppity Germans and Snooty French are having too big a say in how we live in England.

They should be:

A. Taken out and shot.

B. Delivered divorce papers

C. Asked to accommodate our peculiarities a little more in the E.U. parliament.

D. Asked to remind us why we organized the common market and E.U. in the first place.


3 thoughts on “Mini Quiz – Are you Prone to Populism?

  1. Number three is of particular interest to me. The privileged students next door to me are of particular interest to me in terms of what should be done about them again see no 3 . Their bodily fluids have mission creep They are about to graduate in a few weeks time. They have lived in the house for three years . they have vomited all over the place./ they have sustained much damage to a perfectly good home. Poor lambs they are spoilt rotten !

    The other night they smashed my fence i on the street side ( clearly retaliation because i had had a noisy party closed down. They also lobbed a beer bottle over my high stone wall landing at my back door . They have urinated and done sone very wanton things too horrible to describe here. And yet they will graduate. Much binge drinking foul language and entitlement. And yet they will graduate. And now the city is granting the student organization a small grant to teach them their tenant rights !!!!! Times have changed. leaders of the future. I don’t think so.
    How to get along with the rotters is beyond me. What would their mothers think ? Two suspicious looking condoms were in the gutter two doors up. It makes you think. Witness wanted ? A few centuries ago, was n’t there something called ” drawing and quartering!


  2. Love the attitude but don’t agree with the reasoning. Populism is more than ‘the people’ just wanting to be violent. ‘The People’ do know, its just they have become so brainwashed they are just responding emotionally – but there are VERY GOOD reasons for the people to decide what goes on rather than a government. I mean we are grownups surely!!!!


    1. As if to make my point much of the world applauded the swift action of the Trump administration. But let me rephrase what happened. Mr.Trump saw images of dead and dying children, as did we all. These were a few of the thousands of children and about 400,000 people killed in Syria over the past 5 years. (the culpability for this spreads far and wide by the way) But these images provoked a strong emotional reaction and a very strong impulse, one that was pretty close to “Take the bastard out and shoot him.” or even “Throw acid at him and then shoot him.”
      So Mr. Trump and his generals (as a second choice I think) warned the Russians to hide and then blew up a dozen or so planes being repaired and killed about a dozen Syrian workers, mechanics, who probably had children of their own.
      This was described as measured retaliation. The operant word here is “retaliation”.
      So yes, our first impulses are often outrage, retaliation, and revenge. Not outrage followed by let’s all calm down and figure out how to stop this insane civil war.

      David Laing Dawson


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