Political junkies, left and right alike, are a shrinking minority
“Political junkies,” as I define the term, are liberals, moderates and conservatives who pay a lot of attention to politics, even though they disagree among one another on what it all means.
But relatively few of the people who voted in the presidential election this past November would qualify as genuine junkies.
In short, the American electorate increasingly is politically illiterate. This recent presidential campaign featured an unprecedented amount of media coverage, but all that information, especially the provably valid stuff, seems to have meant nothing to tens of millions of Americans.
Even among those who did vote, ignorance was somewhat commonplace. Take, for example, these results of a poll conducted in December among Trump voters:
The stock market rose more than 11,000 points during the eight years of Obama’s presidency, but 39 percent of Trump voters said the Dow Jones Industrial Average had declined.
Unemployment was reduced by half under Obama, but two-thirds of Trump voters said that joblessness had gone up.
Forty percent of Trump voters said their hero carried the popular vote in the November election. Actually, however, Hillary Clinton won the popular tally by more than two million votes.
Even Trump’s lawyers conceded that there was no appreciable amount of voter fraud in the presidential election, but 60 percent of Trump voters, without any evidence, believed that millions of illegal ballots were cast for Clinton.
These poll results indicate that a sizable percentage of Trump voters decidedly were not political junkies. Their interest in politics was not sufficient to distinguish between the truth and utter nonsense. True junkies are willing to face the incontrovertible facts, even if they’re uncomfortable.
As I said above, political junkies will disagree among one another on what the facts really mean, but they won’t blindly and foolishly deny them.
But let’s at least give these misinformed Trump supporters credit for having voted.
What can we say about the millions of Americans who tuned out the campaign noise all around them and didn’t bother to vote? This kind of apathy actually is pretty scary. And it disqualifies these people from claiming that they are patriotic.