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The "Voters"

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Democracy 2.0: What Would a Post-Voting Society Look Like? Imagine that government tracks your every move.

Democracy 2.0: What Would a Post-Voting Society Look Like?

Frankly, they can already do that, so this should not be an immense stretch of imagination. Then imagine that the establishment does the same for everyone you know. Does this wield an absolute power of those in control over the typical citizens? Not so fast. The answer is yes and no. Now imagine this all-knowing government (or company) noticing a new pattern in their big data sets. Would you say that this future is possible? Something important about the role of the elections is revealed when we start to speculate that in the future vast datasets can help governments to do fair decision-making without the need for elections. Technological development connects with political processes and vice versa. By measuring activities and behavior, much more can be perceived from well-being or mobility choices in cities than from political elections and surveys. 9 Things Many Americans Just Don’t Grasp (Compared to the Rest of the World)

To hear the far-right ideologues of Fox News and AM talk radio tell it, life in Europe is hell on Earth.

9 Things Many Americans Just Don’t Grasp (Compared to the Rest of the World)

Taxes are high, sexual promiscuity prevails, universal healthcare doesn’t work, and millions of people don’t even speak English as their primary language! Those who run around screaming about “American exceptionalism” often condemn countries like France, Norway and Switzerland to justify their jingoism. Sadly, the U.S.’ economic deterioration means that many Americans simply cannot afford a trip abroad to see how those countries function for themselves.

And often, lack of foreign travel means accepting clichés about the rest of the world over the reality. People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say. The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it.

People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say

But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies. The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas.

For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments. As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them. Millions of Americans Are Embarrassingly Ill-Informed – And They Do Not Care. Excerpted from Just How Stupid Are We?

Millions of Americans Are Embarrassingly Ill-Informed – And They Do Not Care

, by Rick Shenkman, by arrangement with Basic Books. "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. " -- Thomas Jefferson Just how stupid are we? Pretty stupid, it would seem, when we come across headlines like this: "Homer Simpson, Yes -- 1st Amendment 'Doh,' Survey Finds" (Associated Press 3/1/06). In U S 46% hold creationist views of human origins. Keeping Their Voters Stupid Keeps Republicans Elected. Over the past six years after every election, a relatively common question is why do so many Americans dependably vote against their own self-interests.

Keeping Their Voters Stupid Keeps Republicans Elected

Despite poor white people in southern red states barely surviving on slave wages, welfare, food stamps, and no adequate healthcare, they routinely vote for Republicans openly campaigning on driving their constituents deeper into poverty. It is true that opposition to Democrats as surrogates for an African American President is driven by racial animus, but even that fails to explain poor white voters electing abusive Republicans promising to eliminate programs that keep them alive and block Democratic attempts to lift them out of poverty.

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson understood how abusive Republicans could succeed, if only they kept the population unenlightened, or in street vernacular blind, dumb, and stupid. The common theme in keeping their citizens ignorant and uninformed is pandering to voters’ irrational fears. Research on The Persistence of Political Misperception. How Americans Are Brainwashed to Fear Exactly the Wrong Things. Photo Credit: Image by Shutterstock (c) Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley Editors Note: The following is the latest in a new series of articles on AlterNet called Fear in America that launched this March.

How Americans Are Brainwashed to Fear Exactly the Wrong Things

Read the introduction to the series. What is a bigger threat to most Americans: big government or big business? In December 2013, the Gallup poll found that nearly three out of four people feared “big government” more than “big business” or “big labor.” After President Obama took office in 2009, 55 percent feared Big Brother. Only 21 percent of Americans said that big business was a bigger threat. Gallup attributed the jump to “government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act—perhaps coupled with recent revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of government spying tactics.

" Perspectives on Politics - Abstract - Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Rights and Responsibilities.