Like I'm going to believe that the American people have been following the career of President Obama's most recent supreme court pick in any depth at all up until they heard some stuff about her on talk radio or the nightly news.
I'm seriously tired of seeing polling data headlined on political web sites and talked about incessantly on the radio. The majority of the American people don't know anything outside of what their chosen gurus tell them to know, and they only know it as long as it's not uncomfortable.
I long for a politician to run for office and not blab on and on about American exceptionalism. What is Right and 'The Will Of the People' are not even synonymous by a long shot. When those things intersect, it is accidental. Politicians and media figures need to stop handing out stroke jobs and roll up their sleeves. The constant pandering to target demographics is one of the ugliest things that goes on in a free market capitalist society. The constant demonization of 'the other' and the holding up of some virtuous 'we the people' by anyone who wants to go anywhere in our society is profoundly embarrassing.
Sorry for the rant, you faithful, wonderful, wise and compassionate Medicine Cabinet readers. I just had to get this off my chest, and I knew you would understand.
I hope you know that I wasn't opining you. You are--of course--infinitely better informed and much more beautiful than the sort of seedy characters I mentioned. May your opinions on even the subtlest things always be polled and admired, and your every quip garner a headline.
God bless you all.
A reader over at The Daily Kos called Thethinveil took exception to this piece in the comment section. He/she seems to agree with a sentiment expressed by another commenter that I'm "doing a disservice to everyone by taking the rasmussen poll seriously." I replied to that commenter by saying "Not only am I not taking them seriously, I'm not taking the premise that what they claim to be doing is worthwhile seriously."
to which Thethinveil said:
"It sounds like you do [take rasmussen seriously] because you go immediately to criticizing the public, as if the poll is right.
We should insure what we are doing is the right thing and the Will of the People is part of that. I agree that selective mirco-targeting of the populace is horrible, it only disrupts attempts to offer ideas that could offer real cohesion in society. But the public is never "the problem", their opinions matter because we thankfully live in a Democracy."
to which I replied:
"The pollsters are part of the problem, but so is the public. That so many people feel comfortable offering opinions about so many things that they inevitably aren't going to know anything about is bad news.
I am criticizing the public in this piece, but I'm also criticizing the notion that how the public feels about a particular supreme court pick should be considered seriously.
When the public is wrong, ill-informed, and convinced of the righteousness of their own opinion simply because they hold it, the public is the problem.
I'm glad we live in a democracy, but there are no perfect systems. The deification of popular opinion is one of the shortcomings of our particular brand of democracy."
I realize that I'm being a little bit of a crank with this piece, but I think the central thesis holds up.