Quickly, name a policy idea from a major candidate that is both deeply unpopular with the public and also likely to become a law. I can’t think of one. That isn’t even a thing anymore. If the public doesn’t like it, the leaders can’t do it. Period.The above is from Scott Adams's current blog post.
Does it make any sense?
Consider his demand: "Quickly, name a policy idea from a major candidate that is both deeply unpopular with the public and also likely to become a law."
First, why "quickly"? Why can't we think about it a bit a make a suggestion that might challenge his assumption?
Second, how is "a policy idea from a major candidate" the test of American democracy? Major candidates are seeking election, not carving in stone what they'll do in office. Consider "major candidate" George Dubya Bush: he promised a humble foreign policy. What he delivered was wars of aggression against both Afghanistan and Iraq, and global programs of kidnap and torture, and assassination by drone.
A humble foreign policy? Not exactly. More like a program of state-sponsored terrorism.
Obviously, during an election, a candidate will say whatever they think the public wants to hear: at least so far as that is consistent with what the media and the candidate's financial backers will support them in saying.
The reason for the compromise with the media is obvious. If a "major candidate" names a policy idea that the oligopolistic corporate media will not swallow, the media will do its damnedest to insure that the candidate either changes their tune or goes down to defeat. Same goes for the candidate's financial backers.
So actually, American democracy is nothing like what Scott Adams is proposing. There is an elite that controls the media and funds the election campaigns, which works to ensure (a) that the candidates support the elite agenda, and (b) that public perception is shaped to support the elite agenda. So sure, it looks as though the public control the process, but in fact, the public are merely the brainwashed dupes of a controlling elite.
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