Low Information Voters

Last week, Ted Cruz made the point that Donald Trump does well among low information voters who are not engaged in the process.

You would have thought he shot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

The hue and cry that erupted over this comment made me think of how angry people got over a Rodeo Clown wearing an Obama mask at the Missouri State Fair in 2013.

“I’ll never vote for Ted Cruz! He insulted me! He called me stupid!”

Um. No. Cruz said, and I quote, “Donald does well with voters who have relatively low information, who are not that engaged and who are angry and they see him as an angry voice.”

Nowhere in that statement did Senator Cruz say Trump voters are stupid. In fact, Cruz didn’t even say all Trump voters are low information voters.

I remember when Rush Limbaugh first coined the phrase “low information voter” on his radio program. Rush made a point — one that he repeated often — that low information voters aren’t necessarily stupid people. They just are not engaged in the political process. They vote, but without ever really learning about the candidates or the issues.

They’re more interested in keeping up with the Kardashians than keeping up with the happenings in Congress.

They can probably name every character from “How I Met Your Mother,” but can’t name the Rights protected by the First Amendment.

They flocked to the polls to vote for the “clean, articulate” black guy. Was it because they really loved Obama’s policy proposals and agenda? No. They didn’t really know what Obama stood for. Some of them probably still don’t.

In fact, in 2013, when Washington Post reporter Colbert King talked about Rush’s phrase “Low Information Voter” on PBS’s Sunday Program “Inside Washington,” Rush called him out over his ignorance over the term [from Rush Limbaugh’s website — March 25, 2013]:

[Audio of] KING: The guru of the Republican Party, the face of conservatism is Rush Limbaugh. We all agree to that. He puts down those results by saying Obama won with a low-information voters, low-information voters. What’s he mean by that? They’re sort of stupid. They don’t understand the issues.
RUSH: No, that’s not… nobody in the media, I don’t know what is so hard about getting me right. I’m on 15 hours a day. You don’t need a password to listen to this program. It’s free over the air. You can even listen to parts of this program at RushLimbaugh.com. You do not have to be a subscriber. You can access the text of this program at RushLimbaugh.com. It’s free. It’s everywhere. What is so hard to understand about what I say?
I have never said that low-information voters are stupid. I just said they don’t know what they think they know. They are prisoners to the media, which has dumbed them down. Low-information voters can be doctors. Low-information voters can be scientists. They can be among all walks of life. It has nothing to do with IQ. It has to do with what they don’t know because of their media sources. Low-information voters are clearly people that don’t have all the information available to make a voting choice. That’s all they are. And they’re all over the place. And most of them do vote Democrat.

Given Rush’s definition of the term he coined, what is wrong with what Ted Cruz said?

Isn’t it fair to say that many people who vote for Trump are voting for him because he’s a reality TV star and a celebrity? Wouldn’t you agree that there are people who jumped onto the Trump train early because of name recognition alone?

Even given that Rush says “most of them do vote Democrat,” Cruz’s statement still holds true. Are not a lot of Democrats flooding the polls to vote for Trump in open primary states? Are there not a lot of Democrats who are switching to Republican just so they can vote for Donald Trump in the primary? It isn’t that Trump is turning those voters “red.” They know him. He’s rich! He’s famous! He’s the star of The Apprentice!

I’ve watched a couple of those videos from the Stump for Trump girls. These two women are Trump fan-girls. They’re not engaged politically. For them, it is all about Trump and the celebrity that surrounds him.

These supporters aren’t necessarily stupid people. It’s simply that they are supporting Trump for reasons that have nothing to do with policy, politics, agenda or our Republic.

This doesn’t mean that every single person who votes for or supports Trump is by Rush’s definition “low information.” And, again, Cruz didn’t say that every single person who votes for or supports Trump is low information. He said Trump does well with low information voters.

I did a post a while back where I laid out Trump’s ” Touchback Amnesty” plan. I provided quotes from Trump, quotes from his son. I provided the links where this information came from. Yet, I actually had Trump supporters in both the comments section and on my Facebook page claim that this was not Trump’s plan at all. He was going to deport all illegals and they would NEVER come back!!!

Um. No. He has said on countless occasions that he would deport them and then allow them to return to the states with “legal status.” He has said a number of times that there would be a big, beautiful door in that wall so that they could come back. Sure, he has vacillated on the number who would be allowed to return. Sometimes he doesn’t specify. Sometimes he says “only the good ones.” Sometimes he points out that we have to let them return because they’re doing jobs Americans won’t do. But regardless, unless Trump is lying through his teeth, his deportation/re-admittance plan is what we on Planet Earth call “Touchback Amnesty.”

If the voters who deny the reality of Trump’s plan were actually engaged, researching, vetting, and learning about their candidate, they would know that. But they aren’t. They heard “wall” and “deport” and that was it. They are supporting Trump without getting all the information. So by definition, they are low information.

I have a friend who is a doctor. She is probably one of the most brilliant people I know. Yet she admits that she just doesn’t follow politics, doesn’t even know anything about the people running for President. In fact, the only people whose presidential campaigns she is aware of are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (both of whom she detests). She doesn’t watch TV, cable news, nothing. By Rush’s definition, she is low information. She simply isn’t engaged in the political process. She is a brilliantly smart woman with many varied interests and activities that take up her time, but politics isn’t one of them. Hell, she doesn’t even read my site. I try not to hold that against her.

Being low information doesn’t mean you are stupid. It simply means that you are not engaged and do not have the information necessary to be fully informed.

I’m a low information person when it comes to contemporary popular culture. I have never seen “The Walking Dead.” I couldn’t identify a Taylor Swift song to save my life. If you asked me to name the Kardashians, I only know of Kim. If I had to recite the titles of Lady Gaga’s songs, you could waterboard me, and I still couldn’t do it. I don’t go to the movies. I haven’t watched network television in over three years. In my life, I have never seen an episode of “The Apprentice.” I am simply not engaged in contemporary popular culture. So, I won’t be voting in the People’s Choice Awards. Get me?

Cruz pointing out that Donald Trump does well among low information voters is about as far from accusing all Trump supporters of being stupid as you can get.

Donald Trump even seems to be aware that many of his voters are low information. During his victory speech after the Nevada caucus, Donald said that he loves the poorly educated.

The only person in this race who has ever accused supporters of another candidate of being stupid is Donald J. Trump who lambasted supporters of Ben Carson for believing Carson’s story of his journey to faith. Remember? After mocking Carson for claiming to have attacked his mother with a hammer and stabbed a friend, then making light of his conversion to Christ, Donald said, “How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?”

If Ted Cruz had said, for example, “How stupid are the people voting for Trump? How stupid are they to believe this crap?” I could understand why a Trump voter would be angry.

The offense taken at Ted Cruz’s statement tells me more about the people who were offended than it does about Cruz. We really have become a country of supremely thin-skinned people who seem to go out of their way to be insulted. In fact, some seem to want to have a reason to be insulted by Ted Cruz in order to justify never supporting him.

It’s like the people at Media Matters who wait with baited breath for Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh to say something they can leap all over like white on rice so they can whine and complain about how mean they are.

Ted Cruz never said all Trump voters are stupid. But to hear the butt-hurt coming from some people, you would think that is exactly what he said. And, I hate to tell you, but the people who don’t bother to do a little investigating to discover the truth of what he said are kind of proving Cruz’s point.

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2 thoughts on “Low Information Voters

  • March 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    It was a struggle, but, I finally remembered the names of all the characters from “How I met Your Mother”. Is there a prize? Can I finally start to ignore all this politics business??

  • March 15, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Hell, I used to watch that show and can’t remember all of their names. haha.

    Good post, Dianny.

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