Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Myth of the Rational Voter 2016

In reading the 2016 update, I learned that apparently The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies was already on my wishlist / to-read list. The 2016 update was an interesting read and reveals I really do need to read this book this year. Reading The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation during the 2010 Midterm election was revealing. I wished I had read it in 2008.

This one stood out for me.

4. After bleakly assessing public opinion, The Myth of the Rational Voter argues that democracies normally deliver substantially better policies than the public wants.  The political system tends to quench the public’s anti-market and anti-foreign urges while substantially watering down the policy poison.  In 2016, one of the main dilution mechanisms has badly failed: Using social pressure to check and exclude hard-line demagogues.

One thing I have seen quite a bit of in the past few months is people asking those who disagree with them to unfriend them on Facebook. That is not just directed at one specific campaign but supporters of Clinton, Sanders, Rubio, Cruz, and Trump. Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve seen it directed at Kaisch. (No, I’m not going to fix that by taking that stance.)







One response to “Myth of the Rational Voter 2016”

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