Paragraph Completion- Voter Ambivalence

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Paragraph Completion - Voter Ambivalence

As ambivalence is often linked to the victories of populists, there is a general sense that our ambivalence is destabilizing, dangerous and needs to be purged. The failure to reach clarity implies a failed agency on the part of the ambivalent citizen; it is they who carry the burden of resolving their own feelings and returning to a place of undivided certainty. Yet, the more we dismiss and disparage ambivalence, rebuking voters who “should know better”, the more we risk its manifestation in destructive ways.

  1. The point is that, rather than reflecting some psychological deficiency or cognitive dissonance, ambivalence is an active and willful position to take.
  2. People who have been reduced to decision-takers will be more likely to see radical, revolutionary, even destructive change as the only way to resolve their ambivalence.
  3. Ambivalence is even rational, in that it requires an awareness of mutually exclusive choices and a refusal to choose; just as wanting a bit of both is also rational.
  4. Slowing down, and contemplating how our democracy is working for us as a community, potentially limits the power of those who benefit from the status quo.
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice B

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph given argues that voter ambivalence might not be as destabilizing and dangerous as it is thought to be.

    The penultimate line warns that the more we disparage and rebuke ambivalent voters to make up their minds, “the more we risk its manifestation in destructive ways”. Which begs the question, “How so?” The answer option that we choose must be one that answers this question. Of the given options, (b) does this best. Forcing those who are ambivalent to take a clear-cut decision are more likely to see radical, revolutionary, even destructive change as the only way to resolve their ambivalence.

    Option (a) is ruled out, as the idea that “ambivalence is an active and willful position to take” is not what the paragraph is trying to establish.

    Option (c), which argues that ambivalence is “even rational” does not relate to the penultimate line of the paragraph, on the dangers of forcing ambivalent voters to reach clarity.

    Option (d) is unrelated to the main idea of the paragraph.

    Correct Answer: Choice (B)



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