Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, October 21, 2016

Seriously People?

"Where did Trump come from?"

I think we are all sick of that question.

Clearly, Trump voters and the Republican base has had a fractious relationship with facts since the creation of Fox News.  But it's not enough simply to misunderstand US trade policy or the nature of supply side economics.  There has to be more at work than simply not understanding policy.

In order to make a really bad decision, it helps to be afraid.

Vox has a sort of funny piece about how scared America is of clowns.  Ha ha!  And Topical!

What struck me was what Americans are scared of besides clowns.  Sixty-one percent of Americans are scared of corrupt government.


America does not have a "corrupt" government, if we are talking about officials enriching themselves off the state. You can make the Bernie argument that the system is corrupt simply because he doesn't get what he wants, but honestly, the idea that we have a hopelessly corrupt system is simply not borne out by the evidence.  American government may not give you the results that you want, but it isn't "corrupt" unless you define corruption as anything that doesn't meet your expectations.

It gets worse: 38% of American worry about their guns being taken away; 36% are afraid of Obamacare.  How the everloving fuck does one get to be afraid of health insurance subsidies and insurance exchanges?  Where are you getting your information that Obamacare represents a threat?

Biological warfare clocks in at 35%, whereas climate change only garners 32% on the fear-o-meter.

Roughly twice as many Americans are "afraid" of corrupt government - a thing which objectively doesn't really exist - than are afraid of the slow cooking of our planet - a thing which very much is happening.

Our news infrastructure revolves around getting eyeballs, and you get eyeballs by scaring people.

The result?  We are a stupider nation than we need to be.  And that stupidity has lead to Trump.

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