Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Luxury of not Caring About Politics

Harry Enten left this Tweet:

"I get the feeling many of you care a lot more about politics than I. (I care a lot about elections, which isn't quite the same as politics.)"

But being in the position of not caring about politics is a luxury. On some level it's an assumption that your life will go on same as it did before whatever the outcome. 

In most elections in a democratic, capitalist country this is true. Indeed, there is the theory that for the individual voter it's rational not to vote-in a rationally ignorant kind of way-as no individual can decide the election. 

Of course, if everyone believed this no one would vote or few would. The few that did really would have a lot of say over who is elected. 

You can argue that in a healthy political order, it should be possible for there to be a good percentage of people who don't care about politics, aren't focused-in truth few are as focused as political animals like myself. 

But would Enten-who happens to be Jewish-have felt the same way in 1932 Germany?

The Beltway furor over Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Trump comments also shows a shocking level of normalization of Trump. They honestly seem to think we should see RBG and not Trump as the threat to judicial and democratic norms.

Shadi Hamid, the Middle Eastern analyst, also acts as if we should respond to a possible Trump Presidency the same way we'd respond to any other election.

I get his sensitivity to democratic norms-with his deep familiarity with a region where election results are routinely thrown in the toilet. 

But there are always exceptions to the rule. In 1933, the time was past to confine oneself totally to the rule of law. 

Speaking of normalizing Trump, there are a host of worrisome polls out from Quinnipiac that show Trump leading or tied in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Voters have decided-according to these polls-that, God help us, Trump is more 'honest and trustworthy.'

Sure, he only lies 91% of the time.

The media has done it again. They convinced most people in 2002 that there was a link between Iraq and 9/11. Now they've evidently convinced people that Hillary and not Trump is the pathological liar. 

Still, panic, is never the best response. Let's wait and see what later swing state polls show. Today's NBC polls will take on some interest:

"Are those Q-polls real or outliers? We'll be releasing new NBC/WSJ/Marist polls on IA/OH/PA at 5pm ET. (And no, haven't seen numbers yet.)"

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