I’m starting to enjoy the political season as much as college football season, if only because it’s the only competition more detached from reality and reason than the BCS. The mass exodus of incumbents is fucking fascinating. Not only Republicans– while the Democrats are resigning en masse out of disgust for what passes as a constituency these days, but all the Republicans being pushed out by Tea Party candidates.
Now, I am not one of those people who believe that Tea Partiers are stupid or racist. But they are ignorant, and this proves it for two reasons:
1. If you want someone representing you in Congress, regardless of ideology, buy off an incumbent. Not only do incumbents have a staggering re-election rate, but Congress is not a Democracy- seniority is everything. This concept of throwing out 20-year veterans and replacing them with random businessmen who promise to spend money on anything just doesn’t work. They go into the general election with no wind at their backs and the animosity of the huge contributors that had invested millions of dollars In the candidate that just got pushed out, and the few who win will accomplish nothing for two years and get voted out in 2012.
2. Polls only reflect the opinions of the people who were polled. A poll of 1000 people could produce unanimous results and still only prove that .0003% of Americans agree with something. There is one statistic that people tend to ignore, and it’s staggering: 80% of Americans don’t respond to polls. Add to this that many polls are done by phone, and you’re already limiting the demographic to people who still own a home phone. In 2010, that’s an overwhelmingly conservative and denialist group. But all those people who don’t give the time of day to questions like “does Obama’s Muslim heritage lead you to believe that American churches are at risk?” will still vote. In huge numbers. Especially if the leading candidate has ads on TV promising to cut funding for schools, infrastructure, and police. People do vote out of fear, but they’re far more scared of Anarchy than they are of Socialism.