What the hell’s the point of being willfully ignorant?

In one of my political science classes we covered game theory in relation to political theory. The end result was that if all other variables were taken out, politicians wanted what was best for them at that point in time; hence, their “rational choice” would be the one that would be the one that would most likely get them reelected. They had to appeal to the median voter to get to that choice, and that’s what frightens me. We’ve either had a huge shifting of the median voter or we’ve had people in office that that didn’t exactly appeal to the median voter. People can change, their political ideas can shift over time, or, sometimes they’ve been shifting but there’s just a snap. Regardless, I’m only thinking about this because of some debates that I’ve been having with people as of late.

There’s the whole Assange is anti-America, a terrorist, and so forth. Obviously I’m in favor of what he’s doing. Every single time in one of these debates they bring up the fact that he’s anti-America, even though Wikileaks has released documents from other states too. Every single time there’s a claim that it’s top secret stuff, except there’s not one single thing in there that’s top secret. Most of the stuff is confidential. If my memory serves me, I believe confidential is also the lowest classified level the government can put on things. I don’t know about you guys, but when you have stuff saying that Putin is an alpha-dog, that’s not exactly that groundbreaking of stuff. There’s no doubt in my mind that was probably confidential.

Then I’ve also been debating people about our idiot governor-elect. Yeah, so you’re running with the claim that that big chunk of money can be used for something other than it was originally apportioned for. Then it turns out that you can’t…which you should have known because you were being told that the entire time. The end result is that you now have to pay certain things you wouldn’t have had to before. Sure, it’d cost 7.5M a year to run this extended line, but consider that you’re going to have to do updates/upgrades costing 100M out of the state coffers now. My math may be just a little bit off, but 7.5M a year is quite a bit less then a 100M hit. Hell, even growing at 3% a year, that 100M could have been spent running that line for 11 years and 4 months. But, it gets even better because of that 7.5M, Wisconsin could have had to pay about 10% of that in a few years. That 100M would then have been stretched for over 50 years.

I used to think that people would act in their best interests, I mean, the politicos already act in theirs. From Palin rallying on about how bad socialized medicine is whilst her grandson is on it, from Johnson saying government subsidies are bad after having accepted them, from the GOP saying to take out earmarks from the Omnibus and going behind the scenes requesting more, and I’m sure numerous examples more. Yet people don’t go about their best interests. Are they ignorant of facts or just plain stupid? If they’re ignorant, why? All the information is right their in front of them. Anyone can make an informed decision. These past couple years have really made me question if people can truly look out for themselves or if they need hand holding. I’ve become jaded.

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  1. #1 by Joshua on December 17, 2010 - 7:08 AM

    People believe whatever someone tells them. There’s no critical thought anymore. People used to think through the implications of their actions BEFORE doing them. Now they’re surprised that “robbing a bank is a crime? When did that happen?” and think they shouldn’t be responsible. It’s always someone else’s problem.

    • #2 by Phillip on December 17, 2010 - 7:10 PM

      But if they don’t step up, they’re inevitably responsible for the outcome. If the outcome is something that they could have had a say over by being diligent yet they refuse, they’re still responsible. I don’t like it one way or the other.

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