Apr 13, 2015

Americans—They Don't Know

The Intercept has a piece on "the full-scale political disengagement of a substantial chunk of the American population"

It's not pretty. But the data does explain the ascendency of Scott Walker and assorted lunatics to elected office.

Writes Glenn Greenwald:
The data on American political apathy is rather consistent, and stunning. Begin with the fact that even in presidential election years, 40 to 50 percent of the voting-age public simply chooses [to] not participate in the voting process at all, while two-thirds chooses not to vote in midterm elections.

Even more striking is what they do and do not know. An Annenberg Public Policy Center poll from last September found that only 36 percent of Americans can name the three branches of government, and only 38 percent know the GOP controls the House. The Center’s 2011 poll 'found just 15 percent of Americans could correctly identify the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, while 27 percent knew Randy Jackson was a judge on American Idol.'

A 2010 Findlaw.com poll found that almost two-thirds of Americans — 65 percent — were incapable of naming even a single member of the U.S. Supreme Court. A 2010 Pew poll discovered that 41 percent of Americans are unable to name the current vice president of the U.S; in other words, [John] Oliver could just as easily (if not more easily) compile a video of Times Square visitors looking stumped when asked if they knew who Joe Biden, or Antonin Scalia, is.
As 2016 approaches, any voter not believing in the consequences of who is running Congress or the presidency is foolish to a degree worthy of harsh derision.

Look at what Scott Walker and the Republicans have done to Wisconsin.

I still recall the thoughts of the young, 20-something black man at a Madison neighborhood center on the day before the 2014 general election that reelected Scott Walker.

I asked him his thoughts on the Wisconsin governor's race. His response: I'm not voting, "they're all crooks," is revealing, revealing of ignorance and foolish political disengagement.

No, Mary Burke (Scott Walker's opponent) is not a crook. And she surely would not have taken a wrecking ball to the University of Wisconsin System, K-12 public schools, the DNR, community control, one can go on.

Fact is Burke ended up spending over $5 million of her own money on the election. Doesn't sound like a crook to me, no matter how often this site has castigated her ineffective communications team.

It needs to be said, this kid like so many across Wisconsin is foolish and knows virtually nothing about public policy.

Hillary Clinton's convincing the electorate in 2016 to engage, specifically the demographics represented by this kid, will determine if America is to become a plutocracy. Plutocracy, look it up, kid.

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