“Diversionary War Theory” states that leaders who are threatened by domestic turmoil may initiate an international conflict in order to shift the nation’s attention away from internal troubles.
Alternatively, “Domestic Diversionary War Theory” has the same objective by pitting group against group.
Domestic diversionary war plays on fear and envy in group politics. An additional benefit besides diversion is to make a group feel surrounded, embattled, threatened, persecuted so they vote predicatively en mass for their perceived “savior” or “champion”.
Domestic diversionary war also negates the need for vision, productivity and accountability. Fear, envy and misdirection trump game plans that benefit all.
Groups’ fighting has romantic appeal like combatants in a Goya painting. Us verses them appeals to a spectrum of intelligence. Rank and file never prosper but group leadership does; thus the longevity of the balkanize sophism. Leadership delivers the votes and is paid handsomely.
Ben Franklin’s admonition “if we can keep our republic” is a cassandra of this anomaly.
Thank you for defining this so well – I did not know there was a theory explaining this phenomena – but we have seen this tactic many times and it sounds like the public needs to call it out!
It is pretty obvious that this diversion happens. Look what Reagan did after the Marine barracks were bombed in Beirut. He goes and invades Grenada to take the public’s mind off of 200 dead soldiers. I am sure if one looked you could find several instances of this diversionary tactic.