Jordan M. Barry (USD): Political Free Riding. Armin Schafer (Max Planck): Republican Liberty and Compulsory Voting. Christopher S. Elmendorf (UC-Davis) and David Schleicher (George Mason): Informing Consent: Voter Ignorance, Political Parties, and Election Law. How much do voters know? “The first lesson you learn as a pollster is that people are stupid” (but stupid voters are people, too). Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal; the ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. A review of Attention Deficit Democracy: The Paradox of Civic Engagement by Ben Berger. From TED, Michael Huemer on the irrationality of politics. Political animals: Chris Mooney’s The Republican Brain and Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind link psychology and neuroscience to ideological values. The introduction to The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It by Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson. From The New Yorker, Ezra Klein on George Edwards and the powerless presidential bully pulpit. Here are Congressman Jeff Flake’s opening remarks in the brief debate over his amendment to defund the NSF political science program.

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