Friday, January 29, 2010

Most Voters are "Un-Informed"

This doesn't come as a surprise, but if you read political blogs, you're far more informed than the typical person. This Pew research study shows that the majority of voters don't really know much about the actual operation of the government:

The public has consistently expressed strong interest in the health care debate, but relatively few Americans can correctly answer two key questions related to the Senate's consideration of health care legislation.

In the latest installment of the Pew Research Center's News IQ Quiz, just 32% know that the Senate passed its version of the legislation without a single Republican vote. And, in what proved to be the most difficult question on the quiz, only about a quarter (26%) knows that it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate and force a vote on a bill.

It's well worth reading the whole thing, but I want to focus on how this relates to the Supreme Court's decision allowing corporations to buy and run political ads, and why our elections are about to get worse.
I'll try to be polite. I don't want to say that most voters are "stupid", so I'll say that they're "low-information" and not inclined to learn a lot about politics or government. They tend to know what they've seen and heard on TV. And American mega-corporations are masters of television manipulation. Just look at the shlock they're already selling us. The corporations don't have to lie to manipulate people's opinions, only engage in some slick marketing. Even if they did lie, it's doubtful that anyone would be able to effectively counter it. So all the corporations will need to do is to sell the public their chosen candidates, and let those elected legislate to their benefit. And the public will not notice...
because the public is "un-informed."


Demeur said...

I think we're getting to the point of the information haves and have nots. Those with internet access can fact check and be well informed. The actual legislation is now out there to be viewed and decided upon. A great age we live in now no?

Rehctaw said...

Plenty of information. What's lacking is understanding.

A comma delineated collection is not a context-sensitive relational database.

A discerning filter and sorting process for the barge-loads of pre-spun information always requires either further research or a babelfish.

How does new information dovetail with old information? What happens when it doesn't mesh? Maintaining is a serious challenge. It doesn't take much to gum up the works and there are countless "sources" whose sole purpose is to add gum.

What's a body to do? Call time out?
Take time for quiet contemplation to reconcile the discordance?
Meanwhile more and more is dumped on, in, around and at the inbox.