It seems that I’m (unfortunately?) old enough to have a memory. And unlike most Americans, who live in what Gore Vidal likes to call the United States of Amnesia, I can remember what politicians said and did, and what the outcomes were.
Throughout my lifetime, politicians who were correct about things generally are not remembered fondly, and they were often not victorious in the next election. Whereas the people who were wrong about almost everything keep getting more Friedman units from the voters, as if we just know they’ll someday get it right.
It seems being correct counts for nothing! We keep electing people who, if they’re intellectually honest, have to constantly apologize for all their wrongheaded ideas and their votes for things that didn’t come close to producing the promised outcome. Or if they’re sociopaths like Dick Cheney, they just deny that they said what you clearly heard them say. Or they deny the actual outcome, by producing phony measurements (aided by the “think tanks” like the American Enterprise Institute, whose goal it is to produce phony measurements while sounding “academic.”)
A scientist would never accept these kinds of results! In a scientific world view, correct predictions are the most important currency, and incorrect predictions are how you figure out what (theory) not to trust. Of course science doesn’t deal with broken campaign promises, but one would assume that would count against the politician who made them and didn’t keep them.
How can democracy be so screwed up?
Some (few) examples below.