WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012
What do the great unwashed think: Just before sneaking out of town in the dead of the night on vacation, Kevin Drum left a very short post which deserves a good long review.
Mitt Romney is running quite close in the polls. In several polls, he’s running ahead. Craftily quoting an unnamed friend, Drum offered this explanation:
“Americans have simply priced in the crazy.”
We don’t know exactly what that means, but we think we know what it’s meant to suggest. We’re inclined to think that this attitude is destructive to liberal interests.
This is a big, sprawling country, with regional cultures. Roughly 200 million people are old enough to vote.
As we have watched the liberal world build its own liberal channel, we have been struck by one thing above all:
We’ve been struck by liberal indifference to the project of understanding what voters think and believe.
In recent weeks, MSNBC has frequently fed us partial results from polls, designed to make us sleep well at night. (Obama is doing quite well among women!) As the channel kept serving this comfort food, it kept ignoring an obvious fact—Romney was running disturbingly close in the overall polls.
Now, when Romney pulls ahead in some polls, we say it’s because of “the crazy.”
Some voters are semi-crazy, of course. But that doesn’t mean they won’t vote. (Some of them will vote on our side.)
We’re free to dismiss other voters that way. But when we do, haven’t we basically stopped doing politics?
People who don’t agree with us get the same ote we do. They own the same tiny share of the country each of us smart liberals owns.
They’re here, they aren’t queer, and they’re going to vote. They have no plans to leave the country. We can mock them all we want. But is that how we lose elections?
What do other people think? Do self-impressed minds want to know?