26 May 2012

Why Voters are Angry at the Politicians

Politicians embody the inherent contradiction in voters' minds, a contradiction which they would prefer to ignore. For this politicians are - at the least - a source of irritation and - at most - a target of rage.

Voters want to cut government spending, but never for their programs. I've worked with retired military, many of whom think that government spending should be cut. Yet not one of them I've ever talked to has said that given no private company could afford retirement pension and medical benefits after a mere 20 year career, the military should save money by making its policies more like those in the private sector. I know farmers who think that the government spends too much but who would never give up their subsidies. Many retired people think that government spending is out of control but never volunteer to accept a cut of even a penny to their social security or medicare payments. I don't say this to pick on the military or farmers (one should never offend people who feed you or who have guns) or the elderly, but to make a claim that everyone knows that spending should be cut but everyone believes that the spending on their behalf is barely adequate.

Politicians who promise to cut spending (in accord with what everyone wants) but refuse to cut specific programs (in accord with what everyone wants) anger voters who do not want to be confronted by the inherent contradiction of their own thoughts, unwilling to reconcile their own thinking.

Voters are angry at politicians because they've clearly asked them to raise spending and lower taxes and deficit but politicians just won't.

The average voter seemingly wants spending on their own programs maintained or increased, wants their own taxes cut, and wants to see the deficit reduced. The reason they are so angry at politicians is that politicians' inability to make this impossible thing happen is proof of two things: one, their own thinking is contradictory, and two, they do not have political clout enough to shift all the cuts and tax hikes over to the other guy.

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