Political operatives and pundits love dividing voters into various demographics based on philosophy and interest. Tea Partiers. Elizabeth Warren fans. Libertarians. Evangelical social conservatives. Social justice warriors. The common denominator behind each of these groupings is the assumption that all are equally committed to staying abreast of current events and political candidates as, well, the operatives and pundits themselves.
Anyone else is dismissed as a “low-information voter,” aka someone who simply doesn’t give much of a crap. Or what I would call, sane people. It takes a certain level of delusion that things would be substantially different between a second Clinton presidency or a third Bush presidency, for instance.
But there is a further demographic that completely flummoxes operatives and pundits of every stripe, one that confounds even the most exquisitely constructed algorithm or prediction, one that leads reporters at a complete loss to describe certain outcomes. And that is the moron demographic.
These are not just regular people who choose not to follow politics all that closely, and who are therefore uninformed. No, these are people who are misinformed, and not only that, are aggressively, even joyously misinformed, and who flock to like-minded people who are just as wrong as they are about everything.
Morons break every electoral model that is founded on the assumption that voters want the best person who holds their values for the job. This is because morons naturally gravitate towards the worst person who holds their values, and the more the media pillories their guy, and the more their politician makes a fool of himself on national TV, the more convinced they are that he is exactly the right guy for the country.
This is the Moron Paradox, and one can never predict when it will blow up an electoral model like a massive firework exploding in a moron’s hand.
Because as increasing numbers videos of Rob Ford smoking crack, ranting, or literally falling on his ass emerged, there remained a solid core of Toronto voters who paradoxically became even more convinced that he should be their leader. It only proved that Ford was one of them, and Toronto’s morons could quite truthfully argue that Ford has been one of their only representations in Canadian politics.
Despite what people think, most politicians are not morons — nope, not even the politicians of the opposing party. They may be dishonest, they may be crooked, but they are generally not morons beyond a certain level (state senates are the traditional zenith of a moron’s political career).
So when one of them such as Ford or Sarah Palin does reach prominence, the Moron Paradox takes over, much to the bewilderment of the media. The more the prominent moron falls flat on their face, the more their fellow morons increase their support.
Now they say The Donald is not actually a moron in private life. But either way, he damn well knows how to play one on TV, and he does so with all the gusto of a reality TV star. And the Moron Paradox is once again taking hold: the more the media bashes him, the more outrageous and idiotic statements he makes, the more he outclowns even himself, the more convinced morons are that this man should be our president.
Trump must be incredibly frustrating for the other candidates. (Except Bush, who sits comfortable in the knowledge that he is absolutely guaranteed to be the eventual nominee.) But he serves as a lesson that if they want to be the eventual #2 in the polls and therefore get on Bush’s VP shortlist, other GOP candidates need to serve the moron demographic who until now has been ignored by virtually every candidate of either side except Huckabee.
The other side should learn this lesson as well. O’Malley is going exactly nowhere right now, as Sanders has already emerged as the anti-Hillary. If he wants to finally find traction in the polls, his best strategy would be to insult a reporter’s racial heritage, while sniffing glue, right before yelling “JUGGALO FOR LIFE” while falling onto his ass. The morons would hear the call of one of their own.