Skip to comments.Top political scientist: U.S. voters are 'pretty damn stupid'
Posted on 11/21/2010 7:31:12 AM PST by Sub-Driver
Top political scientist: U.S. voters are 'pretty damn stupid'
Political reporters often rely on University of Wisconsin political scientist Charles Franklin for expertise. In just the past few months, his insights have appeared in articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, Politico, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and many other publications. He's also a co-founder of the influential website Pollster.com, as well as co-director of the Big Ten Battleground Poll.
So Franklin answered with considerable authority when he was asked, at a recent forum on the November 2 election results, why Republicans emerged victorious in so many races. "I'm not endorsing the American voter," Franklin said. "They're pretty damn stupid."
Franklin was responding to a question from Bill Lueders, news editor of Isthmus, a weekly alternative newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. In an account published Thursday (H/T Ann Althouse), Lueders says he asked Franklin why "the public seemed to vote against its own interests and stated desires, for instance by electing candidates who'll drive up the deficit with fiscally reckless giveaways to the rich."
"Franklin, perhaps a bit too candidly, conceded the point," Lueders writes. "'I'm not endorsing the American voter,' he answered. 'They're pretty damn stupid.'"
Lueders writes that he responded, "Thank you, professor. That's the answer I was looking for." The rest of Lueders' account explains that smart voters support things like high-speed rail and higher taxes for the rich, while dumb voters support "an obvious phony like [Republican senator-elect] Ron Johnson over Russ Feingold."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
Well..........we did (as a country) elect Obama.
I have to agree with him. They elected Pelosi, Reid and Obama.
I see, unless one supports liberal and ridicules projects to spend money upon, they are stupid...if they voted for the (o)bama nightmare they are smart.
Let me be the first to say I am shocked some professor would feel that way.
“his insights have appeared in articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, Politico, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and many other publications”......................................... Nuff said, I’ll read some other thread.
‘They’re pretty damn stupid.”? Look at the Liberal University’s they graduated from. It has been said that beginning in the era of WWII through the 50’s, the average American had an 8th grade education. They built this country and defended this country better than any other generation. But...now they are educated by liberals and are “pretty damn stupid”. Interesting.
Those on the right think the left is mentally ill, the left thinks those on the right are stupid. Works out.
As I read this, Clyburn is on CSPAN saying the reason Democrats lost is because people didn’t know how much free crap is in the Healthcare bill for them!!!
They just don’t get that people are sick of the spending, and aren’t responding to more handouts the way they used to.
They KNOW now that when they can no longer afford the house, they get kicked out.
I stopped reading after “University of Wisconsin”
Where’s the Barf Alert????
Thanks for your service Bubblehead. And I use Bubblehead as a term of endearment.
Yeah - the kind of stupidity that stikes fear into the hearts of the Elites....
And some of us are even dumb enough to not roll-over-and-go-back-to-sleep-after-the-election, like we’re supposed to...
/blatant thread hijack/
Contact your Senator, NOW, and demand that he/she/it vote AGAINST SB510!!!!
/end blatant thread hijack/
He’s right. He’s just wrong about whichn voters they are. But it’s not the Democrats, either. They’re just evil, looking either for control of other people, or an easy handoout.
No, the real dumb ones are the independents. They have no conception of how the world works, and are always sheep to be shorn, until the bad shepard cuts a little too deeply and drawa blood.
I stopped reading after University of Wisconsin
Well MSU beat their football team. We in Michigan are doing our part to stomp liberals. LOL
Well duh. Exhibit A - a Kenyan Marxist IS in the WH.
Totally agree that if he thinks stupidity was the cause of electing leftist idiots.
However, I don’t think I’ll take advice of any kind from someone who’s studied nothing but meaningless trivia for his entire academic career - trivia that is unprovable and that can be learned by a tape recorder.
He might try studying something that’s actually difficult before he goes about calling folks stupid.
ferreted out another Marxist, Charles Franklin, University of Wisconsin.... a professor and expert... gasp ! Who knew?
It may be political, but it’s certainly far removed from being a science.
The contemporary Democratic Party is based on the premise that many people, perhaps even the majority, are unable to be self-responsible and need the government to regulate their lives. They think they are smart enough to win the votes of these stupid people through a combination of charisma, credentials and give-away programs. They are “surprised” when the stupid people don’t vote the way they’re supposed to.
The Republican Party has been based, since its founding, on the premise that almost all people are capable of being self-responsible and what the government needs to do is protect them from cheats and criminals, and to adjudicate differences that arise between peaceful, law-abiding persons as happens from time to time. It doesn’t deny that there are some who aren’t capable of being self-responsible, and has not been committed to any particular way to care for them, whether through family, church and private charity or government, but only that we do have to care for them.
Republicans are not at all surprised that many people favor a vibrant, free-market economy over socialism even though they are below the median income, as (1) in a dynamic analysis, they will do better in a vibrant economy than they would getting their share of a reduced national income under socialism and (2) the accept the moral principles of a free society, such as are expressed in the Ten Commandments. Reason number 2 may, in reality, simply be a codification of reason number 1. The liberal elitist from U. of Wisconsin may not be smart enough to understand this.
Being a Buckeye fan I can only see myself getting in more trouble here because we didn’t beat them this year and we gotta go play that team up north on Saturday.
Thanks for your service.
I am old enough to remember the rivalry of the 70’s. Bo against Woody. It was the game of the season to watch and I am an MSU fan. LOL Now somebody beat Wisconsin. OH, we did. LOL
Well, considering that every high speed rail project, anytime anywhere -- even in parts of the world with much higher population densities and far larger percentages of railway commuter usage than the United States -- has been an utter boondogle; and considering that experience at the state level has repeatedly proven that taxing the rich drives them away and/or lowers their productivity, thus reducing growth and revenues; then any person who has ever run a successful business, or any Governor of a state who has overseen above average economic growth, is apparently a blithering idiot.
I recommend Lueders stay as far away from the real world, where policies have actual rather than "academic" consequences, as possible.
Then to be fair and get a proper vote, Chuck Franklin should cast a vote for all of us in total via proxy.
We mustn't allow stupidity in a free society.
Yes,American voters are stupid.In “commiefornia”Jerry Brown is back for a third term.Boxer for another 6yrs and the majority of the crumbling state voted “dumb-o-crat”.Yep,yep,yep.
I miss Bo and Woody, both native Buckeyes from NE Ohio, although Woody born in Clifton. That was when the Big Ten was the Big Two.
So if MSU, UW, and OSU, all win out who’s Big Ten Champ?
The team that has the highest BCS rating.
All these leftists seem to be fixated on that phrase “voting against their interests” concerning middle class Americans who reject high-spending, leftist/statist schemes. I’ve heard that phrase from countless assorted lefties i.e. Thomas Frank of “What’s The Matter With Kansas” infamy etal. Yes, if you don’t like the idea of spending more than you’re able to, you’re voting against your interests. I find that to be a remarkable lack of logic even for leftists.
Decades ago the psychotic were kept in insane asylums. It made sense to grant such people asylum there. They were safe, more or less, and fed.
So, what is the difference today between a professor and a psychotic? Can someone tell me? I mean, other than the fact that the professor isn’t restricted to the campus grounds?
Maybe if you guys keep telling the American people how damn stupid they are for not supporting you they will get the message and get on board with your plans for the country!
Come on, folks! Hop to it! It’s a brilliant strategy and it’s going to win you all sorts of support!
My daughter is 17 and a senior in a small catholic school. Nevertheless she's been subject to the usual anti-American diatribes in her history and civics classes, along with a healthy dose of "I'm smart and enlightened" smugness to insulate her against both counter arguments and even her own contradictory perceptions.
In short, she's convinced I'm stupid and bigoted.
So now whenever she objects to my remarks I reply:
"Yeah! I know! I'm stupid!"
But we stupid people have rights too!
Are you going to discriminate against me for being stupid? What kind of democracy is that???"
She never has a reply, other than: "Oh dad..."
That arrogance is one big reason why we tossed your asses out. Oh yeah, this “damn stupid” voter has two degrees and can technically use the title “Doctor” if I choose to.
Reading this makes it very clear why historically there has been recurrent ‘town’ vs. ‘gown’ conflicts. Academics are self-aggrandizing elitists. Incidentally, the putting the terms ‘political’ and ‘science’ together is pretty funny.
The supposedly greatest brains of the early twentieth century, like George Bernard Shaw and Einstein, visited Stalin's nightmare and pronounced it the wave of the future with glowing encomiums. That says it all about the naivete of many so-called geniuses.
Most people think that others are stupid if they don’t vote the way they do. That being said, a “top” political scientist saying this in a printed interview is just making an a$$ of himself.
Fabulous rant.Do it again please!
I don’t need some effete pseudo-intellectual professor to tell me how stupid American voters are. All I need to do is look at Obama, Pelosi, Reed, Schumer, Biden, Delaurio, Waters, Frank, et al.
We have to be real stupid. We keep funding Communists for “Higher Education”. We need Constitutional Testing and Public Oaths to support the Constitution from every licensed educator in America. Just think we might have students who believed in America and solved problems rather than create them.
The Communist indoctrination system that we call Public Education needs a serious return to local control. Only the truly stupid would have put a Communist Kenyon Dictator in the White House.
Just a question, why are ALL the rocket scientists so smart, and ALL the political scientists so dumb?
Free stuff, from Obama's stash! This worthless POS has no concept that this stuff is NOT FREE and if the average person has to PAY for it then it is NOT FREE; if the average person is forced to buy it against their will then it is NOT FREE. Then again he is a f'n marxist so why would anyone expect anything else from him. I'll be in favor of the "free" health care as long as the law states that only registered democrats are forced to take part in it and pay for it.
I’m always struck by these commentators calling the US voters ‘stupid’ or accusing voters of having petulant childish fits when they vote overwhelmingly Republican, but how brilliant those same voters are when they elect an Obama (or Feingold, as they did in WI for 18 years).
I will give Feingold more kudos than the professor and commentators. He has not been a sore loser, and from what I’ve seen at least, been pretty gracious in the loss.
You got that right. See this short essay by Thomas Sowell on the matter.
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If you’ve ever worked in retail... you already KNOW this to be true..
Well that kind of stinks for MSU if MSU and UW win out. Beat UW but lose out on the Rose Bowl.
I believe if they all win out they all share the Big Ten Title though.
Can’t wait for next year’s extra game.
How does this professor reconcile the results of the 2008 election with his conclusions about the intelligence level of voters? One can speculate he approves of their decisions in that election cycle.
Assuming that each elected official came from among the ranks of "voters" who are "stupid," then by what mechanism do they become "intelligent" enough to make decisions for the rest of the citizenry?
Do imperfect individuals who gain coercive power by election to posts in government somehow become more virtuous and wise than likewise imperfect individuals in the society?
Are there examples in American history where the general welfare of the society benefitted by applying the principles of so-called "government" control of the means of production and distribution and/or "redistribution" of the earnings of hard-working citizens?
A reading of Governor Bradford's diary of the experience of the Jamestown Colony might be instructive here.
America's Founders preferred liberty for individuals, and their principles made America a desired destination for millions for over 200 years.
"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39
"Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:122
At least the latter can be treated with medication for their condition...little hope for the professor.