The Wenatchee World



The latest extended forecast from The Weather Channel

Remove this weather forecast


Hi70° Partly Sunny


Lo54° Mostly Cloudy


Hi75° Partly Sunny

Friday Night

Lo55° Chance Rain then Mostly Cloudy


Hi71° Slight Chance Rain

Saturday Night

Lo48° Slight Chance Rain then Mostly Cloudy


Hi69° Mostly Sunny

Sunday Night

Lo50° Mostly Cloudy

Columbus Day

Hi71° Slight Chance Showers

Monday Night

Lo50° Partly Cloudy

What political ignorance delivers

Send to Kindle
Print This

It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Nevertheless, many voters’ paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials’ accountability.

In “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter” (Stanford University Press), Ilya Somin of George Mason University Law School argues that an individual’s ignorance of public affairs is rational because the likelihood of his or her vote being decisive in an election is vanishingly small. The small incentives to become informed include reducing one’s susceptibility to deceptions, misinformation and propaganda. And if remaining ignorant is rational individual behavior, it has likely destructive collective outcomes.

View my options or Sign in