I had an interesting conversation with my sister today about a certain politician.
“I agree that he says things that are unacceptable,” I said. “But I don’t want to attack him personally. I just think of what the Japanese would do.”
“What would the Japanese do?” she asked.
“Well, in Japan, when someone says something that demonstrates emotional immaturity, people don’t attack that person. They treat him like a child. I mean, like a child that they love. They just say, ‘Okay, this is the level of emotional maturity that this person is at. Let’s help him get to the next level.'”
In fact, the Japanese will often indulge a person who is demonstrating emotional immaturity by agreeing with them, giving them what they want, or at least sympathizing with them. This can have the effect of embarrassing the person into acting their age when they realize they’re being condescended to.
Of course, sometimes the only result is a pampered adult. Ultimately, change has to come from within; the most other people can do is encourage it.
But in the end, I don’t think the Japanese would vote for someone they viewed as childish.
In my opinion, it’s actually a brilliant system that combines compassion with prudence. Help the child grow, but leave adult society to the adults.