Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are People Stupid?

I have often wondered about the rationale behind the American voter.  What causes people to do what they do in a voting booth?

I can understand differences of opinion and a differing World View.  Not every rational human sees things as I see them.  That may be hard to believe, but it's true.

What I don't understand is the "swing voters."

Statistically, about 40% (or slightly less) of American voters identify themselves as either liberals or strong Democrats.  These people have a world view that is socialistic, humanistic and they will vote for whatever Democrat runs for office, regardless of who that person is.

Statistically, about 40% (or slightly less) of American voters identify themselves as either conservatives or staunch Republicans.  These people generally have a world view that is based on economic freedom, limited government, Judeo-Christian, and believes in the power of the individual.  They will generally vote for whatever Republican runs for office.

Granted, these are very broad generalizations.  Neither group is completely monolithic, and my descriptions are, admittedly, overly simplified.

What I don't understand, however, is those who fall in the middle.  These are the people that ultimately decide elections.  And, generally speaking, these are the least informed people in America.  

Yes, I understand that there are some smart well-informed citizens that have a moderate World view and go back and forth between the Republicans and Democrats when they vote.  But these people are very few.  The reality is, that the people who pick our President don't pay attention to politics, don't understand basic economics, don't watch news, don't recognize bias in the media, and don't know what's in the Constitution.

Here's a case in point:  My mother works for a company that administers 401K plans.  During the past several months, most 401K plans haven't done well (as if you hadn't noticed).  One of my mother's fellow workers received a call from a client, recently.  This client wanted to know why the value of her 401K had dropped so much.  The customer service representative began to explain what was going on in the stock market, but was interrupted by the client:  "I don't have my money in the stock market," she complained, "I have it in a 401K." 

Now, this is probably not representative of most Americans, but it does make a point.  Many people allow themselves to be uniformed of things that have a huge and direct impact on their lives.  Especially the political landscape.

That's why, for example, the Democrats were able to blame our current economic problems on John McCain in October, George W. Bush in November, De-Regulation in December and on corporate CEOs in January, and nobody seems to notice.  

The reason I'm so concerned about this is that I think when the economy recovers, credit will be given where credit is not due.

I read this week that the average economic downturn has lasted between 6 and 18 months since World War II.  Our economy moves in cycles.  Sometimes it goes up, and sometimes it .... corrects itself.  Most of these fluctuations have relatively little to do with what happens in Washington D.C.  The biggest economic downturn since the great Depression occurred in the 1970s.  Many economists believe that the "staflation" of the late 70's was due in large part to over-regulation and the Johnson "war on Poverty" which gave us the largest increase in governmental power and programs since FDR.  It also began our downward spiral from balanced budgets to multi-trillion dollar national debt.  

History would suggest that the current economic downturn will end, and that the end of the downturn will be before the next Presidential election.  That's why I think the Democrats are pushing for the largest increase in the size of government in history.  They know that the markets will correct themselves with or without a stimulus package.  But if they pass a huge socialist program and the economy recovers, they can give credit to B. Hussein Obama and the socialist policies of Congress.

And America will buy it.

At least, the 20 or so percent of Americans who decide elections.  Those who don't really pay attention to what's going on will accept the mainstream media's explanation that Big Government and Democrats are best for the American economy.

A study done a while back by UCLA estimated that the policies of FDR extended the Great Depression by as much as 7 years.  It is possible that the huge "porkulus" package that Congress will pass will do the same thing.  If that happens, it will be good for America in the long run.  But my prediction is that the economy will recover before then.  And when it does, watch out.  Democrats will take credit for it and entrench themselves in power for decades to come.


The Writer January 31, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

Well said.

a red voice February 2, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

I agree, Well said!

From my own experience in talking to some of the people who voted for Obama - I have now realized that they really have absolutely no idea how the economy runs or why we are in a 'recession'- It was just Bush's fault and America needed a change. (& of course, the media was right there to confirm this.)

Even some pro-life Christians wanted 'change' so much, that they went against their values to vote for pro-abortion in order to provide 'change' in the economy.

Little do they know - that they were voting for more of the same 'government mucking around in the free market' policies that got us in this mess in the first place.

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This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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