Diary of a Republican Hater
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Americans More Rationally Ignorant Than Dumb?
The idea of this was given to me by a commentator on my earlier blog about how Americans are letting the GOP spin them like a top about rising gas prices,
Odgen, however, left a comment that and an interesting observation:
"Gullible sure, dumb maybe but when it comes to politics rational ignorance is a bigger problem. That is why it is good to avoid putting too much under the control of politicians who are themselves under the control of the median voter."
"BTW the majority of people are employed so it is a least rational in a selfish sort of rationally ignorant way to be more concerned about Gasoline prices than unemployment. The real problem is that they think they can vote in lower Gasoline prices. Remember the price control and the lines."
The fact that most Americans are employed is a good point. So the median American likely voter-the very poor are underrepresented here as well-has a job and is now seeing gas prices rise and rise every day. Then we got the Republican Ministry of Truth ready to swoop in.
Newt Gingrich has been literally promising $2.50 gas if you vote for him. And this is the free market party?! But Odgen makes a point which explains why this can be a pretty effective strategy. Let's boil it down.
A) Most people do work and have lately seen gas prices ratcheting up daily.
B) Most people are not economists, far from it. Indeed judging by how we do on math tests, most Americans, certainly the median American is wholly math phobic anyway.
So people are fed up with rising gas prices and with the little birdy whispering in their air-the GOP Ministry of Truth-they wonder why Obama won't just fix it. Of course there's little Obama can do all by himself about gas prices. Some of the things that he could plausibly do, the GOP would hate anyway-like curbs on speculators or price controls. Of course they opportunistically demand the XL pipeline as if this would give us $2.50 gas.
So in that sense it's not such a bad strategy. The only thing we can do then is make the case to people and count on the fact that the American people are not quite as stupid as the GOP is banking on.
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