Nothing makes opponents of a political candidate happier than when that candidate doesn’t know something about someone or some place of importance. The first step they take is to google that person or place to find out who and where there are; then they get on social media and berate the candidate for not knowing something they didn’t know. I’m not criticizing. It’s human nature.
However, one must question why we expect the American public to make informed decisions in US elections when they have almost no understanding or factual knowledge about world history, economics or government?
We’re a nation of Google-armed Facebook warriors and Twitter trolls electing leaders on the basis of soundbites. At least, this is true for many.
The number one basis for casting a vote in America is party affiliation. Republicans vote for Republicans and Democrats vote for Democrats and issues, policy and world events fail to enter into the equation.
Republicans read Republican media. Democrats read Democrat media. Independent voters read tea leaves. Then they vote. Of all the popular reasons for voting, party affiliation is the most virtuous; so long as each political party is led by knowledgeable and public-service driven leaders.
When our political parties become lazy, overtly self-interested or devoid of vision, discipline and accountability, then party-affiliation voting becomes more of a vice than a virtue. Still – I believe, at present, voting on the basis of party affiliation is the more intelligent method Americans have for electing their leaders.
The second most common basis for casting a vote is in reaction to the current state of affairs. Is the economy declining? If no, vote for the party in power. If yes, vote for the party out of power. “It’s the economy stupid”. However, I believe there are three factors that drive these reactive voters and obviously the economy is the big one. The second factor is security; are we safe? The third factor is American greatness; is the United States the greatest and most powerful nation in the world?
Reacting to current conditions, blaming or praising the party in power and voting accordingly isn’t completely stupid. At least these voters are predicating their votes on objective information. Whether that information corresponds to a particular party, incumbent or candidate is often dubious.
The third most common basis for voting is self-interest. Which politician or party is going to transfer me the most wealth? This basis is the most damaging.
None of these methods, however, require the voter to know anything at all about current events, government, economics or the historical context within which these events, markets and institutions are developing.
It seems to me that Americans expect an awful lot from politicians they know nothing about and who are operating a government they do not understand.
Americans form an awful lot of opinions with very little information and then vote. Worse yet, passionate voters take passionate positions on complicated issues, armed with arsenals of misinformation.
While I do not have a solution to this predicament, we really do have the government we deserve. We tend to get the kind of politicians who appeal to a democracy ill-equipped to make rational decisions regarding the leadership of their nation.
Our country has been playing with fire for years; and elections have consequences.
From the above: “Of all the popular reasons for voting, party affiliation is the most
virtuous; so long as each political party is lead by knowledgeable and
public-service driven leaders.”
— Fifteen and a half decades, from the time of Lincoln to year 2016, say that the parties have been progressively self-serving of monied elites — every twist and turn of the way.
— The word ‘duoply’ is more descriptive political reality than the word ‘party.’
— In point of fact, the political parties have played the people for fools for years on end. And the people don’t much like the fact.
— Where then lies virtue?
I’m not sure that’s the correct perspective. These political parties have served as open platforms for dozens of smaller factions. These smaller factions’ ability to leverage access to national parties allows them to amplify their message and reach a much broader demographic. For example, Libertarians have had much more impact and success getting elected by working through the Republican Party than the Libertarian Party. Socialists, Communists and “Democratic-Socialists” have had much more success getting elected in the Democrat Party, as opposed to the Socialist or Communist parties.
Libertarians and Socialists represent tiny minorities who have absolutely no chance finding meaningful representation in a Democracy or a Republic; but if they work their way up through a party-structure, they maximize their impact. Just think of Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders as primary examples.
You can argue as above, and you most certainly will find many, many people who will side with the view or views you put forth. And as to interest groups,
parties, and factions qua forces making their available pressure/energy felt in the present clime, even to maximum economy, I would not argue one iota against you. But if the time frame and knowledge base is shifted, then everything changes – reference point, basic assumption, and most certainly, world view. I am very,most quite obviously, not coming from the same corner of the universe as inhibited by you.
I have a friend who to my amusement likes to say, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.’This may be kind of simple sounding except the Bible says it’s what you don’t know which does you in [Hosea 4:6, for example]. With the
American House in shambles and falling in on our heads, this ought to give a a severe start!
If one wanted a start on WHY we ‘don’t know what we don’t know’ as a means of self-edification, I’d recommend reading a 1932 piece of writing by Alfred Jay Nock, The Theory of Education in the United States.
Mostly, I try to refrain from writing on TBE, because folks [no fault directly of
their own] are these days so low information, so low basic education. But occasional I get sucked in. This time it was preacher.
Yeah somebody keeps leaving the tent flap up.
Well finally a change of pace from the “Brodies” and insightful autobiographical piece to boot!
Yeah notes from an observer bla bla bla, You said you’d give us a break.
From presidential politics, yes. I’m hoping we don’t find ourselves in such deplorable conditions in the future.
Without Trump, we will share a cell.
Once again, we are treated to a concise and deadly accurate analysis by Mr Tucker. His talents deserve a larger stage.
Yes, Bearing Drift beckons.
I suspect they’d be offended by that comment.
You’re better than bearing drift’s writers.
BD can only write what the RPV and Ed Gillespie’s PAC tell them to write.
They do their best.
Ouch, that’s a low blow.
Yeah, I admit it… I winced.
I’m sorry, that did not rise to the level of a BD shot.
How about this, TBE and BD make a bet — Trump wins, SBT writes a weekly article for one month in BD — Trump loses, BS writes a weekly for a month in TBE.
Now THAT would show the moxie of the TBE Trump endorsement!!
I just wanted him to share the warmth!