Political Ignorance and the 2016 Campaign

fearandignorancecartoonIlya Somin, author of Democracy and Political Ignorance and Professor of Law and George Mason Univerisity, discussed his book on CNN. His thesis is that most of us have little incentive to educate ourselves about politics. He’s right. The American electorate are not stupid, they are ignorant. What to do about this?

There is no easy solution to the problem of political ignorance. But we can at least mitigate it by limiting and decentralizing government. If you are like most people, you probably spend more time considering information when you decide what smartphone to buy than when you decide who to support for president. Similarly, people are far more discerning when they “vote with their feet” to decide what state or local government to live under than when they vote at the ballot box. That is because they realize that individual foot voting decisions are actually likely to make a difference, whereas individual ballots are not.

Actually, there is a rather easy solution. Restore the study of civics (how the government works) and American political traditions to school curriculae  beginning in elementary school AND making these course mandatory for graduation from High School and College.

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