This is not going to be pretty.
It will probably be twenty years and a ream of statistics and analysis to even begin to sort out the variables and cross-dressing habits of the American voter that led to the bloodbath across America Tuesday. I’m only trying to pull together a few threads.
Yes, it has happened before, and in that there is no great mystery. It is common when a president is six years in that people (especially if there is any crisis of any sort) react with a resounding drubbing of the party in power as if changing the oars of the boat will somehow change the direction of the rowing.
It doesn’t usually, but it makes people feel like they have done something.
What is missing here is, of course, any objective reason for all this hair-on-fire, sky-is-falling chaotic reaction. After all:
- W are basically out of two awful wars that were started by another president for no good reason.
- We have essentially recovered from a near economic disaster started by another president with very bad economic policies. While the recovery is uneven, most of the reason why is because the GOP refuses to get off its “low taxes for the rich” and trickle down theories that got us in the mess in the first place.
- The deficit is down a trillion bucks and this president has cut spending to Eisenhower levels.
- Around 8 million people who didn’t have health care now do, premium hikes are looking like the lowest in decades, and there are very very few PROVEN cases of people getting hit with higher premiums than they had before.
- More people have been deported for illegal entry into the country than any president since I don’t remember who.
- Not one citizen of this country has died from Ebola.
- Unemployment went from over 10% to down below 6%.
- The stock market has soared to amazingly high levels and Wall Street is raking in the dough.
This list is longer, but why bother?
A whole lot of people went out and voted for utter idiots because voting for the better candidate, (if Democratic) would send the wrong message. The message that was sent, is “I really will cut off my nose to spite my face and elect a moron just to prove to you how very much I can’t stand that Black guy, and his wife who undoubtedly is using the White House bathrooms!”
That is the only way it can be explained as far as I can see.
Let’s look around the country where the people spoke about the issues. They voted in every state where it was up, to raise the minimum wage. They voted in every state where it was up, not to make a “person” from a 2-celled thing. They voted in every state where it was up to legalize marijuana. Exit polling suggested that they were EVEN IN RED STATES, more for marriage equality than against it. Yet, they voted for candidates who were EXPLICITLY against these things.
How else would you explain it?
They say that something like twenty-three percent of the electorate are swingers. (no not THAT sort of swinging). They vote sometimes for Republicans and sometimes for Democrats. They tend not to make up their minds until the last minute. They call themselves independents. They are rather proud of that. They are smug about that as if they are somehow better for that.
I have never understood such an animal. I find independents by and large to be ignorant and lazy. Remember I said by and large.
For studies seem to confirm that independents are rather more aware of the issues than the average partisan voter. I think I get that in part. But I don’t think it amounts to much.
I think Independents are still essentially lazy.
Sometime during one’s, let’s say, twenties, it seems to be that a person who lives in a democratic country has the obligation, as a citizen to sit down and come to some idea of what they believe about the world and their responsibilities in it. It’s called acquiring a political philosophy. That means deciding whether you think that human-hood comes with rights and responsibilities, and how best those should be met. It means determining what form of economic machine best suits those interests. It’s a matter of acquiring a basic understanding of systems and the predispositions of individuals and groups and then applying some ethical standards.
When one has completed such an analysis, it seems to me one then looks at the stated principles and the known HISTORY of the parties available to them and determines that ONE at least is more aligned with their thinking than another. While the Democratic and Republican parties may fund themselves essentially the same way, their philosophies are different and they tend to enact legislation broadly speaking at least, pointing in fairly different directions. Not all within each party is the same, and spectrums are the best way to view each I agree, but still, one can agree that one is more this than that, which the other is more that than this.
It’s been pointed out to me that Independents can be of many flavors themselves, making this more difficult. They may be (and this is the typical split), fiscally conservative and socially liberal. That means that they may be drawn to the GOP for money matters, yet lean toward the Dems when it comes to social policies. However, I submit this is not as stark as it might appear.
Social liberals are of two types:
- Those that basically think government shouldn’t interfere in personal choice–i.e. abortion, contraception, marriage, drugs and alcohol, true libertarians I would argue.
- Those that think that government should help to ensure basic human rights, which include programs to assist people to a minimum lifestyle, meaning food, housing, health care, old age care, worker support and so forth.
Now, I’d be willing to bet that most fiscal conservatives are not social liberals of the second order. So that narrows that field rather significantly wouldn’t you say?
So the inability to make a choice going down to the wire is not really a war going on in their head as to whether they will vote principles of equality or economic self interest, but rather my contention is that they basically don’t care. At best political matters dance around the periphery of their daily lives. Vague chants, pieces of slogans reverberate while the kettle whistles and the microwave beeps. In between bites of ordered pizza and soccer scores is heard the chants of “he lied”, “he said we could keep our doctors”, “he’s a Muslim,” “he hates America”, “amnesty”, “Benghazi”.
On election day, these souls who want to present a fine example to their youngsters, dutifully march to the ballot box and numbly vote against that “not one of us” black guy and his uppity wife who has the temerity to tell us what our kids should eat.
And they don’t know a damn thing because they don’t even start to listen, until the last week, and they haven’t a clue what is a good source from a bad one, but those blond ladies on Fox are pleasant enough and sound like they understand. So let them understand for me.
Add to that is the fact that Republicans have become the masters at message. “I’m not a scientist” seems to deflect the average low-brow journalist, when of course it means exactly NOTHING. And because no journalist points out the stupidity of such an answer, the audience receives it as sufficient. Hells bells folks, there is a THIRD of Louisianians who believe Obama is responsible for the Katrina recovery failures!
People are stupid, and they are willfully so. How else explain why Brownbeck, who has driven Kansas into the ground, ruining schools, jobs, its credit rating, and who only knows what else, got re-elected when even intelligent Republican leaders in the state endorsed the Democratic candidate? How else? When people vote against their own economic interests just to show you how much they hate someone, well, yeah, you might say we have a ways to go in race relations in this country.
So it’s part stupid ignorance and part racism that led to this.
You just might agree. Maybe.
They are what David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell University calls “confident idiots” whose minds are cluttered with “irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches” that these people come to view as “useful and accurate knowledge.”
I hope to publish something on this Monday.
Totally agree, except there’s that small matter of voter suppression tossed into the mix.
Reblogged this on kingfo.
You’re probably making it more complicated than necessary. This is the lowest turnout in a mid-term since 1942.