You can’t assume a rational voter

“repeating once again the facts demonstrating that failure and the flawed ideology that has created it, or more effectively repackaging the facts and arguments and having it delivered by an oratorical genius, is not going to cut much ice.”

Bruce Thornton says “It’s Not the Message, It’s Not the Messenger, It’s the Voter” in suggesting why much of the Republican analysis regarding the loss in recent elections is misdirected.

“Dig deeper into the ideas behind the policies and you’ll find out why the Democrats’ narrative is so much more appealing to such voters than is that of the Republicans. … individuals, families, churches, and communities must see to their own needs and wants and find some way to pay for them. … the limits of human knowledge all mean that we have to accept an imperfect world in which life isn’t fair: there are no winners without losers, there’s no free lunch, and we can’t eat our cake and have it.

The progressive Democrats, in contrast to the timeless wisdom even an illiterate peasant once understood, endorse a therapeutic view of human life. People aren’t responsible for their choices, for an unjust political and economic environment … Risk and trade-offs are not a permanent cost of human aspirations and actions, but can be removed from human life.”

“Better messages and better messengers are not going to overcome human nature. The melancholy truth is that our debt, deficit, and entitlement problems will not be seriously addressed until a critical mass of citizens feels the pain of these self-interested, shortsighted, catastrophic policies.”

The budget process is an example. For the last four years, government has been run on a cash flow basis with crisis after crisis as new credit is sought to cover bills and pay for expenses. A budget, such as the Senate has avoided, is a way out of shortsighted financial thinking that looks beyond immediate needs and desires.

The U.S. government is ‘special’ because those who created the Constitution were able to develop mechanisms to encourage and stimulate rising above “self-interested, shortsighted, catastrophic policies.” But a proclivity towards such failings is strong and there is no way to require people to think, to reason, and to consider reality. How to move voters in such a direction is a challenge.

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