Sunday, August 21, 2016

Political Knowledge Today

This is always a great way to start a semester - especially since I like to begin with a lecture justifying the government requirement.

- Political ignorance haunts 2016 campaign.

A noted libertarian scholar finds ignorance among supporters of both major party candidates. He thinks the problem is that government does more than we can comprehend.
What is behind this public ignorance?
It is not that the voters are dumb, but that they have little incentive to learn. Because there is only an infinitesimally small chance that any one vote can influence the result of an election, even most smart people usually have little motivation to follow politics closely. That helps explain why political knowledge levels have remained low for decades, in spite of rising IQ scores and educational attainment, and despite the increasing availability of information on the Internet.There is no easy solution to the problem of political ignorance. But we can at least mitigate it by limiting and decentralizing government.

- What Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Can Learn From William James.

The problem isn't bad politicians, its bad citizens.

Good citizens do not merely demand liberty and equality (though they should), but view their liberty and equality as public goods to be used for public ends. Good citizens do not merely study their nation’s glorious past (though they may), but seek to understand its complicated present and shape its uncertain (but certain-to-be-different) future. Good citizens do not merely articulate their interests, opinions and principles in the language of inclusivity, but embrace the hard work, moral humility and imperfect compromises that make an inclusive common life possible.

Who was William James? Click here.

This essay was referred to in the article: The Moral Equivalent of War.

Only 30% of Americans can name the three branches of government - my goal is to make you one of them.

Some food for thought: It won’t happen, but compulsory voting might be the only solution to political ignorance in America.

No comments:

Post a Comment