Here’s one of the more depressing things I’ve read lately, from the Vox piece on ‘why Democrats need to fight dirty’:
I definitely want to get into some of these structural barriers, but let’s be clear about this point you’re making. A lot of people still think there’s some meaningful connection between policy outcomes and voter decisions, but there’s a good bit of political science research to suggest that’s just a fantasy.
Right. People just don’t seem to make the connection between policies and the party in power.
So, for example, the Democrats passed Obamacare and gave millions of people heath care, and yet tons of people who benefited from it have no idea what it is or how they benefited. And it’s like that with a lot of policies — voters simply don’t connect the dots, and so they reward or punish the wrong party.
I think the idea that we’re going to deliver these benefits to people and they’re going to be like, “Thank you Jesus, thank you for everything that you’ve done, let me return you with a larger majority next time,” is just nonsense. It’s the wrong way to think about politics.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do things for people, but we’ve got to be serious about how elections are won. And they’re not being won on the basis of policy proposals or policy wins.
As I’ve said ad nauseum, a democracy is only as good as its electorate. Or perhaps humans really just aren’t wired to govern themselves, and even a democracy inevitably becomes a set of stale forms through which the genuinely interested and privileged can wield power as they see fit. //off to drink