Ignorance and bias played a major role in the attack on the Capitol and in the continuing belief of many Republicans that Biden didn't really win the 2020 election. The issue is part of the broader problem of political ignorance and bias, which is by no means confined to any one side of the political spectrum.
It could make the Court more vulnerable to political attack and to measures such as court-packing. But the vulnerability might not be great - or last long.
The article explains how expanding opportunities for foot voting can enhance political choice, help the poor and disadvantaged, and reduce the dangers of political polarization.
Being jerks is just the way some people try to make themselves feel dominant.
The system routinely excludes not only those who might be familiar with a given case, but also those who have relevant background knowledge that might improve the quality of jury deliberations.
The previous administration had made some reasonable changes, but also introduced questions based on factual errors and questionable normative assumptions smuggled in under the guise of factual knowledge.
Some of the changes are reasonable. But many of the new questions are badly designed and incorporate serious errors. Moreover, such tests raise the deeper issue of why immigrants are required to pass a test to get the right to vote, but natives are not.
His promotion of far-fetched conspiracy theories about the election is highly unlikely to change the results. But it is damaging, nonetheless.
There could be in some situations. But less often than many assume. And, ironically, the same reasoning suggests many people would have a duty NOT to vote in such cases.
Recent works by longtime intellectual antagonists Cass Sunstein (author of "Too Much Information") and Mario Rizzo and Glen Whitman (authors of "Escaping Paternalism") have a surprising amount of common ground.
The poll shows extensive ignorance among millenials and Generation Z, and is consistent with many previous studies showing widespread ignorance about politics and history. But one of its findings may be less bad than it looks.
Political philosopher Jason Brennan explains why.
The law is a step in the right direction, but has significant limitations, that should be a warning sign for future reform efforts.
Second in a series of posts based on my new book "Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom"
Professor Balkin asked me many great questions in interview just published at his Balkinization blog.
Kindle Edition of My Forthcoming Book "Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom" Now Available
It's available for preorder now, and will be delivered on April 23
Recent controversies over election rules and the coronavirus threat have bolstered advocates of decision-making by randomly selected groups of voters. But this approach still has serious flaws.
My 2015 post on this subject includes points relevant to our current situation.
A New York Times study describes how both red and blue states use public education to indoctrinate students in their preferred ideologies. This dynamic should dampen hopes that public education can fix the problem of widespread political ignorance.
Study Finds Almost 40 Percent of People in Eight European Nations Would Like to Live "in a World Where Chemical Substances Don't Exist"
Such scientific ignorance is common in th US as well, and can have a harmful influence on government policy.
The article is now available on SSRN.
Historian Stephen Davies provides a good explanation of why fringe "cultic milieu" ideas are growing in influence. It's a troubling development, but not one that should lead us to categorically abjure non-mainstream political ideas.
The dispute over Harvard's decision to rescind the admission of Parkland shooting survivor/gun rights activist Kyle Kashuv should remind us of the reasons why we should not have given any special status to his views in the first place. The same goes for most others in similar situations.
The awful ideology of the perpetrator of the recent terrorist attack in New Zealand is one of many examples of how far-right nationalists and far-left socialists have more in common than we often think. Both worldviews rest on the dangerous assumption that we are locked in a zero-sum game in which some groups can only succeed and prosper at the expense of others.
An Atlantic article makes the case that some very privileged people don't want to hear from the other side.
Canadian columnist Andrew Coyne explains why efforts to combat fake news by cutting off supply are barking up the wrong tree.
The result is consistent with lots of other evidence of widespread ignorance and bias influencing public opinion on political and scientific issues.
Introduction to my book "Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter" Now Available on SSRN
The Introduction to the revised second edition summarizes the rest of the book, and is available for free.
Should We Let Children Vote? The Troubling Implications of Standard Reasons for Rejecting a Flawed Idea
Few will agree with Cambridge political scientist David Runciman's proposal to lower the voting age to 6. But standard reasons for rejecting the idea raise serious questions about many adult voters, too.
Bush lost because voters punished him for the recession of the early 1990s - an event he did not cause. This is just one example of a broader phenomenon of voters rewarding and punishing politicians for things they do not control.
Why a New Brexit Referendum Would Not be a "Betrayal" of Democracy [updated with response to Ryan Bourne]
If referenda are a legitimate mechanism for making political decisions, then it is also legitimate for them to be overruled by new referenda. Those who live by the referendum sword risk dying by it.
Democracy is clearly superior to despotism. But libertarians are still right to worry about voter ignorance and advocate tighter constraints on government power.
Values are important. But so is factual knowledge about public policy. In some ways, the significance of values actually makes the problem of voter ignorance more pressing, not less so.
No, We're Not on the Brink of Civil War. But the Reasons Why We're Not Are Far From Entirely Reassuring.
Contrary to the fears of some pundits, the U.S. is not on the brink of civil war. But the explanation for that is far from entirely reassuring.
The debate over the sexual assault accusations against Brett Kavanaugh is a striking example of partisan bias at work.
Legal scholar and National Constitution Center President Jeffrey Rosen explains how many of the Constitution's safeguards against "mob rule" have frayed. His description of the problem is compelling, though he is less strong on possible solutions.
Efforts on both right and left to make the democracy-promotion the key focus of constitutional law should be rejected.
Canadian columnist Marcus Gee has an excellent article on how political ignorance exacerbates the challenges of voting for a lesser evil. But the problem is in some ways even worse than he suggests. At the same time, there is much we can do to improve the quality of our decisions.