Monday, August 24, 2020

Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago?

This is a poll result that I really don't understand.

By any objective measure, the United States is not better off than it was four years ago. In terms of unemployment alone, no one can say we are "better off." In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, nope. Not better off. And in terms of our national political discourse, no way. We are not better off.

Republicans believe they are better off because they have put their faith in Trumpism. This is an all-encompassing state of delusional thinking. We should not be shocked to see the rise of the Qanon conspiracy theory cult because there are far too many people being swept up into a belief structure that requires ignorance above all else. You have to be completely disconnected from reality to think that Trump is doing a "reasonably good" job of leading the country.

I think that will fade when Trump is driven from office. There will come a day when you will not be able to meet anyone who will admit to having been fooled by Trump. They will quietly cover up their complicity. But, then again, there will always be about 33% of the population that will reflexively hate the other side and go down believing "their" president over empirical evidence. These people could literally be sitting in the burned out remains of their business and think that the man who poured gas on the floor and set it on fire was the only person not to blame for what was done to them.

Anyway, a poll of "national registered voters" is not even an objective measure of the population. This excludes people who haven't registered to vote, of course, and it skews heavily against people who have a plan to vote Trump out of office. I would say that the numbers of people who think we are better off are populated with voters who have been conditioned to ignore the news and vote with their "gut" instinct.

Americans will continue to vote against their economic self-interest until they finally wake up. That's the real lesson here. No matter how bad it gets for them, they will still pull the lever for the political party that is trying to crush them.

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