Posted by: The Last Liberal Gwinnettian | October 12, 2010

Voters Are Stupid

I’m going to go ahead and voice a contentious opinion: Voters are stupid.

Not you, dear reader. By reading this blog, you have proven that you actually care about the issues at hand, that you bother to actually research the utterances of our candidates rather than taking them at face value, and that you actually value the idea of being an informed voter. Congratulations.

But, for the most part, voters are stupid.

I could support that statement by citing a recent poll showing that Nathan Deal has now pulled 9 points ahead of Roy Barnes – despite the fact that Deal left Congress while under investigation for using his elected position to protect a no-bid contract that his family business has enjoyed with the state of Georgia; despite the fact that Deal is facing financial insolvency due to his own sheer fiscal stupidity; despite the fact that Deal’s taxes make absolutely zero sense to anyone who has ever filed their own taxes; despite the fact that Deal has had to amend his financial disclosures twice because, regardless of what his ads claim, he just can’t get it right the first time; despite the fact that Deal has lied repeatedly to cover his own past transgressions.

But I won’t.

Instead, I will support that statement by pointing to the effectiveness of negative campaigning. Both parties are guilty of it – while I am admittedly a Democrat, I do not turn a blind eye to my own party’s many transgressions (I just think that their transgressions are ever so slightly less repulsive than those of the Republican Party). Much as I would like to believe that our politicians run negative campaigns just for the sheer fun of it, I know that this is not true. Politicians run negative, non-issue campaigns because they work. And they work because voters are, by and large, stupid.

We have apparently arrived a time when the average voter is willing to believe anything they see on TV. If the candidate of their party said it, clearly it must be true. Surely there is no need to bother to do research to verify the claims of your candidate. If the TV says so, that’s good enough.

This is why 18% of Americans now believe that Obama is a Muslim, despite the well documented fact that he is indeed a Christian (does no one remember his crazy Christian pastor?). This is why 27% of Americans believe that Obama was probably not born in the United States, despite the fact that he has produced a valid Hawaii birth certificate. Then again, I’m certain that polls would show that at least 10% Americans also don’t think Hawaii is actually in America. After all, there are some pretty sad statistics out there regarding what American voters don’t know. For example, one poll revealed that 26% of Americans don’t know which country the U.S. won its independence from.

The sad fact is that Americans as a whole seem uniquely unable to focus on the issues that are actually important. Consider all that you’ve heard in the news about the mid-term elections. I keep hearing about Christine O’Donnell being a witch, a South Carolina Senate candidate who smacked a camera, a New York gubernatorial candidate forwarding pictures of women having sex with horses, a California gubernatorial candidate who employed illegal immigrants while campaigning on immigration reform, a Democratic candidate who has been accused of showing porn to a college student…but I hear very little about any real issues. And that little which I do hear is so couched in partisan rhetoric that even issues-based campaigns cannot ever be relied upon.

We live in a country in which the candidate with the greatest name recognition usually wins, and if there isn’t a candidate with name recognition then the candidate listed first on the ballot wins. We live in a country in which the news is determined by ratings rather than fact, and what creates higher ratings than scandal, smear campaigns, and dirty laundry?

This is the fault of our media, yes, but it is also the fault of stupid American voters. Voters fail to hold our politicians, our media outlets, and our candidates responsible for what they say on air. We don’t even know when we’ve been lied to anymore because it just seems like too much effort to bother digging out the truth.

I do not ask that you take my word for anything – there is, after all, a reason that I bother putting links into these posts. I write in this blog because I feel obligated to investigate the truth behind our politicians claims. I ask that you do the same. Regardless of your party affiliation, you have a responsibility to ensure that you hold your representatives accountable for what they say and do. Perhaps if we stop believing the lies that political candidates spoon-feed us, they might actually bother telling the truth.

 

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Responses

  1. Amen.

    From the link about not knowing who we won our independence from: “So, which country do these people think we had a revolution against? Incorrect answers included France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain.”

    You know, I’m pretty sure that anyone who doesn’t know who fought against us in the American Revolution, must actually work pretty hard at maintaining their ignorance. Otherwise I don’t see how anyone could NOT know this…


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