Friday, June 10, 2005

Get out the Facts

The Enlightenment Project echoes an old idea of mine: rather than obsessing over 'values', Democrats simply need to do more to get the basic facts out there. The majority of American voters - but especially Bush supporters - are woefully uninformed.

It's one thing for voters to make an informed decision to vote for repugnant Republican policies. It's quite another for them support Bush because they are mistaken about which policies he really supports, or because they are greviously misinformed about world events (e.g. believing Saddam to be linked to 9-11, or that WMD had been found in Iraq). We must simply give up on the first sort of person. But those in the latter group might switch sides if only they knew which party was promoting the policies they desired. These 100 facts would be a good place to start.

I've previously noted that democracy requires that voters be adequately informed. The current state of America shows just how badly things can go wrong when this minimal requirement is no longer met:
The primary function of democracy is not to elect good leaders, since nobody can predict in advance how a politician will perform. It is to eject leaders who have manifestly failed. The ability to remove leaders who turn out to be corrupt, dangerous, outrageously dishonest or manifestly incompetent is the primary privilege and duty of any democracy. And if any leader in our lifetime deserved to be ejected by voters, regardless of their ideology or political persuasion, it is surely President Bush.

Perhaps the facts wouldn't help. Perhaps most people would continue to support the Republicans even after forming a more accurate conception of them and their policies. But, from a partisan-left perspective, it's got to be worth a try -- it sure does look like the truth is on our side. And from a non-partisan perspective, the result doesn't matter: informed support is intrinsically preferable to the ignorant variety that dominates today.

1 comment:

  1. there is a bit of "say the thing relevant to your voting group and then note that the other group doesnt know about it going on here. although I admit htere is a costal inland effect going on - a religious non religious effect and probably also a rich and poor thing going on slightly countering that.
    for example if you asked people if they knew about UN and rape scandal or oil for food or somthing republicans probably know and non republican may not - one could argue such issues dwarf any nation state level isues in the big scheme of things.


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