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Monday, July 22, 2013

Confessions of a Low Information Voter



As with all buzz words, dog whistles and bumper stickers the term “Low Information Voter” (LIV), is very loosely defined. In general it refers to someone that votes based on frivolous and trivial information, lacking any informed intellectual basis for their choice. That is the best I can make of the Republican usage of the LIV term. The elegant simplicity of flawed logic wends onward to create a rationalization for losing state wide and national elections, ending with the belief that if not for the stupid voters, Republicans could have won the Presidential election. Assumptions accumulate while traveling this torturous path to LIV theory enlightenment, such as, all Democratic voters are LIVs, all minorities are LIVs, all food stamp recipients are LIVs, most women are LIVs, Republican voters are intellectually and morally superior, etc., etc. The loose ambiguity of the LIV definition allows near infinite room for mental tumbling and cerebral cavorting. Into this vacuous thinking rush talk show host and a supporting cast of “experts”. Cynically I think, “There is money being made here”.
If my starting hypothesis of the definition of LIV is correct, I have to ask “So what’s new?” I must ask who defines frivolous and trivial. Another example, my elected representative voted for the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which changes how combat pay is calculated, and being from a traditional military family, I was upset about this policy change. Does my concern get brushed aside as frivolous and trivial? Am I ignorant because I haven’t decided about Obama Care? Now any bickering blowhard can besmirch my LIV viewpoint.
All theories are attempts to explain observed events, then to predict future events. Since 51% of voting Americans are LIVs (no self respecting Republican would allow that a Democratic vote was based on informed intellectual thought), clearly a Republican outreach program is needed. A Republican political hegemony created by facts, logic and political awareness. Personally, I will be a challenge, I accept the theory of evolution; I believe the universe is more than 6,000 years old; I find climate change science valid; clearly I am an unrepentant low information voter.
I do not perceive the current Congressional Republican behavior as factual or logical. My current LIV perception is that Republicans are acting for narrow short term political advantage, not for long term societal benefits. My full perception is that all politicians operate from this principle; my reading of history suggests this true across all time, governments and nationalities.
What this poor LIV wants, dreams of, is that some leader will decide that good policy is good politics. That ideology needs to be replaced by pragmatism, I can accept “No pain – No gain” if there is a basis to believe there will be a future gain. My frivolous and trivial political awareness will naturally focus on another Washington, Lincoln, FDR or Kennedy when one appears, just as the LIVs of their time.

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