George Will summarizes Ilya Somin:
Many people, says Somin, acquire political knowledge for the reason people acquire sports knowledge — because it interests them, not because it will alter the outcome of any contest. And with “confirmation bias,” many people use political information to reinforce their preexisting views. Committed partisans are generally the most knowledgeable voters, independents the least. And the more political knowledge people have, the more apt they are to discuss politics with people who agree with, and reinforce, them.
The problem of ignorance is unlikely to be ameliorated by increasing voter knowledge because demand for information, not the supply of it, is the major constraint on political knowledge. [emphasis added]
So the problem with government is that no one cares about how it performs, and the reason that they don’t care is no deeper than they don’t care (in the same sense that I don’t know who won any bowl games yesterday).
What to do?
A better ameliorative measure would be to reduce the risks of ignorance by reducing government’s consequences — its complexity, centralization and intrusiveness.
Ah … so if people are going to treat politics like football … following a team they like only when it suits them … then we should give politics as much control over our daily lives as the local football team.
I think I’d prefer a world like that.