The Outstater

June 23, 2022

A Political Forecast you Can Bet on

WHAT DOES IT MEAN that Gov. Eric Holcomb was booed at last Friday’s lead-in to his own convention?

Well, it means that the next couple of election cycles will be crazy wild. Moreover, the political and journalism classes have positioned themselves so far out of touch that they will be of little help preparing you for what is coming next.

So, as we often find ourselves saying here, you are on your own. We can offer, however, at least one “tell” to watch for.

Say there is a race between a challenger who can cogently explain our situation in solid economic or — better yet — common-sense terms against an incumbent who talks abstractly about “fighting” inflation and so forth. Bet on the challenger this next time around.

Specifically, if an incumbent makes an argument that some capricious factor is to blame (Trump, greedy capitalist, guns or other inanimate objects, white “supremacy,” climate change, Covid, Johnny Depp, etc.) he or she or them won’t be affecting any solutions once you return him or her or them to office.

The typical incumbent today, having built a career on an advocacy media and political favors, hasn’t needed to stay close to a constituency. But they now won’t have a clue as to how to fashion a solution, indeed, they won’t recognize a problem.

The nut of your analysis should be this: The political class can no longer count on the electorate being inattentive. The tired old stump speech about god, country and family (sort of) doesn’t work when voters are paying $6 a gallon for gas and transvestites are dancing in the pre school.

That prediction is based on changes in what economists call “rational ignorance.” During good times, it is not “rational” for voters to spend time getting the details of public policy or incumbent performance. During bad times, it makes more sense.

There is a caveat: It doesn’t matter whether you vote — statistically anyway. But if any of the issues touch on a constitutional principle, the First or Second Amendment particularly, you will want to vote anyway so you can look your grandchildren in the face.

One more factor to consider: As the stakes are raised, attempts to fix elections will increase. This is a constant throughout the world, not just Chicago, Texas and Pennsylvania. In fact, America has been blessed with uncommonly honest elections. You cannot count on that to continue. (It is no accident the GOP’s nominee for Secretary of State, with family in Guatamala, understands that.)

Another constant is that no matter how bad things get, there will be a shortage of good people, especially good people willing to run for office. If you find one, do all you can to keep them upright.

One more, God willing, may just be enough. — tcl


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