Hopeless Presidential Candidates Are Good for Democracy

Eric Medlin

History instructor. Writer. Rising star in the world of affordable housing.

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3 Responses

  1. John Puccio

    Not sure how Nikki Haley and RFK Jr are in the same ballpark…

    The most obvious example to make your point would have been Tulsi Gabbard exposing Kamala Harris for the fraud that she is.Report

  2. Murali

    The problem with epistemic defences of democracy is that they assume that people are epistemically rational actors. That when they encounter different views, think about them and talk about them, the better views win out. However, this is not the case. On average, when the public deliberates, they will tend to choose more intuitive and simple explanations over more complex ones. This would be fine if the truth regarding the issues that face us were simple. However, it often is not. That’s why conspiracy theories are so prevalent.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Murali

      Love this comment. I suggest that when people are exposed to an actual clash of ideas, they tend to cherry-pick out facts and arguments supporting the point of view they held entering the debate for affirmation, and cherry-pick out facts and arguments supporting different points of view for rejection. During the debate, their attitudes harden and polarize, and they become angry and frustrated with the person with a different point of view. Most people leave a debate feeling stronger and more energetic about the opinions they held before the debate; the debate tells them that they were right all along. This is true for both sides of the debate and the actual merits of the issue are, most of the time, irrelevant.Report

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