The Ignorance of Mobs

Jonah Goldberg jumps on one of my favorite hobby horses and takes it for a fine ride today.  Topic? The lunacy of believing that getting more people involved in the political process will produce better government and better policy-making (when large numbers of people are, quite frankly, ignorant fools.) A snippet:

That the public mood is a poor compass for guiding the ship of state is an old lament. Here are two reasons why.

The first has to do with the laziness, spinelessness, and vanity of political elites. Citing polls as proof you’re on the right side of an argument is often a symptom of intellectual cowardice. If the crowd says two plus two equals seven, that’s no reason to invoke the authority of the crowd. But pundits and pols know that if they align themselves with the latest Gallup findings, they don’t have to defend their position on the merits because “the people” are always right. Such is the seductiveness of populism. It means never being wrong. “The people of Nebraska are for free silver, and I am for free silver,” proclaimed William Jennings Bryan. “I will look up the arguments later.”

Read the whole thing here.