Friday, 23 September 2016

The Dumbest of the Dumb

Last year I wrote about how the portion of the electorate I revile the most is the swing voter. In a well functioning democracy where the government represents the people's interests fairly well, swing voters might be the wisest people out there. In our democracy they are the least reasonable and least sane of anyone.

If anything demonstrates this it is Trump's recent rise in the polls. Hilary Clinton got sick and had to take a break from campaigning so Trump made up a bunch of ground on her. She's back on the campaign trail and the polls are turning around again.

During that time there were some new reasons to think Clinton was a bad candidate. Getting out of criminal responsibility for violating national security protocols by claiming that a blow to the head made you forget those protocols is about the most transparently corrupt excuse I have ever heard. If I were living in the US, that might have been the final straw for me, I don't know if I would be able to vote for Clinton after that.

But that's not why this happened. People don't dislike Clinton because she is a warmonger - they love warmongers - they dislike her because she is a woman, specifically because she is the sort of woman who can feasibly run for president. They dislike her, apparently, because she is not immune to pneumonia. I guess Trump, not having pneumonia at this moment, might be. Never mind that Hunter from Daily Kos called it weeks ago, before Trump's huge media stunt for his new hotel:
New theory: Donald Trump ran for president only as a publicity stunt to boost room prices for his new Washington D.C. hotel, which is situated on the inaugural parade route and which opens its doors for the first time this week. Want to book the Trump Townhouse for a prime spot watching the parade? It'll cost you $100,000 per night, minimum five night stay.
Because if there were new reasons to not vote for Clinton, there were also abundant new reasons not to vote for Trump. These people are the reason you aren't allowed to campaign on election day - they genuinely might just vote for the most recent name they saw on a sign. I wonder how much having your name come first on the ballot affects the outcome. If it was a full percentage point I wouldn't be shocked.

What's weird to me is that people who make decisions this way are voting at all. Voter turnout isn't very high in the US or in Canada. If your opinion on who would do a better job changes with the wind rather than with any actual facts about the candidates, what is the value in casting a vote?

On one hand, it's a silly question, because clearly my entirely schema for decision making is irrelevant to the group of people I'm talking about. What I call a reason for something and what they call a reason for doing something are completely unrelated to one another. I'm ignoring my own advice and trying to be reasonable where there is no value in reasonability.

On the other hand, it's very easy to suspect that I do know the answer to the question. It's because they think they know just as much as I think I know. I try to use external indicators to confirm that I'm not a moron, but unfortunately they also confirm that it doesn't matter much.

1 comment:

  1. i assure you, many of us dislike clinton not for being a woman, but for being a criminal and a warmonger.

    when her presidency ends in impeachment because of any one of her many, many impeachable crimes, they're not going to blame hillary clinton. they are going to blame women as bad leaders.

    for this reason she will set the cause of women back decades.

    because she is a criminal. that's all.

    oh, yeah, SOME asshats hate her because they don't want women to be out of the home. those asshats would have voted republican anyway.