19 April 2015

David Lauter's Lazy, Lazy Political Analysis in L. A. Times

I was more than a little dismayed to read this sentence in an article in the Los Angeles Times: "Who wins [in 2016] will almost certainly depend on which proves more powerful -- the hunger for change or the inexorable demgraphic wave." The thesis of the article is that changes in demographics favor the Democrats in the presidential election, but that some undefined "desire for change" favors the Republicans, as if the nature and direction of that change, in terms of actual policy that affects real peoples' lives, made no difference. The entire thesis is unsupported by any reference to specific evidence, in the form of polling designed to isolate voter attitudes towards actual Right and Left policy change, and it's frankly insulting to the intelligence of readers and voters, with its implicit presumption that people unthinkingly slaver for "change, any change. " Detailed polling published over the last several years in fact shows is that the majority of Americans want very specific changes, which, as it turns out, have not been put in place during the present Democratic administration largely because of obstruction by Republicans in Congress. Perhaps it is actually true that the majority of people are unthinking reactionaries, literally, and will just vote to "throw the bums" out without a care for who or what replaces them, but if that is Mr. Lauter's conclusion, the polling he cites referencing "tolerance" and "preference for a strong leader" is not convincing.

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