We are witnessing the slow death of public opinion in this country. It’s being displaced by party opinion.
These days, more and more Americans are inclined to judge issues from a partisan viewpoint. In March, according to a Pew Research Center survey, twice as many Republicans (53 percent) as Democrats (27 percent) said the economy was poor. Yet, from everything we know, Republicans are not suffering more economic deprivation than Democrats.
Elections today are less and less about persuasion and more and more about mobilization: You rally your supporters in order to beat back your opponents. Republicans did that in 2004, when President George W. Bush got re-elected with 51 percent of the vote. Democrats did that in 2012, when President Barack Obama got re-elected with 51 percent of the vote.
Republicans today are all fired up over the controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service, the State Department and the Justice Department. They see Watergate.
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), for example, said the abuses confirm “our worst fears about our government,” namely, “that your government’s targeting you, your government’s spying on you and that your government’s lying to you.”