As little as popular sentiment has to do with what the State does — and really, it has precisely squat to do with it unless particular interests agree already — I do at times find the results of polling amusing. I do so both for futility plus amusement reasons & for what messages they may say (if anything) about how the masses interpret their predicament and Where To Go Next.
Recently, a Gallup poll result showed a large gap between approval of the US Congress and the police/military — who get their orders from the same entity that according to the poll people disapprove of. For reference, I’ve included an image of such below*. On its face, this is illogical — soldiers get their orders from congress, after all, and what the cops do is to enforce the laws that the US congress and the executive branch have decided should be enforced. Yet, I’m of the mind that due to how little influence the average person has, that they’re discouraged from the start from rationality when it comes to decisions. When ones view doesn’t matter, incentive to have an informed one evaporates, y’know?
So, what I am curious about is the following: why the contradiction? Why do people, according to this survey, separate so neatly that which the view of the system we’re commonly taught says is incorrect? Why do Americans ascribe such confidence to pigs & soldiers while withholding confidence from who tells pigs and soldiers what indeed to do?
*Here’s the result image:
I made a remark about this on Twitter the other day, resulting in a bit of something that could be seen as snark from our old Stopped Clock friend Matt Yglesias.
My initial thought is that this is a paradox of crossing the ideological fable of oligarchical pluralism equaling “democracy” with the decisions of such being more hidden when it comes to police & military action, combined with the proto-fascist desire of some for “Decisive ACTION!” against what they see as the flaws of public debate# (read: semblance of actual functioning democracy). But I don’t post this time for what I think, rather what you think. Holler.
(# – I get the feeling a particular person may find that angle interesting…)