Will Forcing Risk Adverse People to Make a Decision, Produce No Decision?
What if the large pool of undecided in Iowa, decide not to decide?
They are not capable of making a decision. They can’t pick just one candidate. Just like the New York Times editorial board, who picked two candidates to endorse.
Like the classic hand-wringing liberal, they are consumed by angsts, fear and doubt. They may have an actual psychiatric medical condition, now on the books that the New York Times has reported on, known as Trump Anxiety Disorder.
They are the voting equivalent of a deer-in-the-headlights. Frozen. They just stand there.
As Rolling Stone put it:
“Going into the 2020 primaries, Democratic voters are fueled by the most primal of emotions: fear and anger. Fear and anger about the state of the nation, the conduct of the president, the blind loyalty of Trump’s Republican allies, and the uncertainty of what comes next.
“They are the two most prevalent emotions out there,” says a former senior staffer on a now-defunct Democratic campaign who requested anonymity to talk candidly about the campaign he worked on, the other candidates, and the DNC. “They both have to do with Donald Trump: they’re angry at him and afraid he’s going to win again.”
Ellen Montanari, a progressive activist in southern California who has worked closely with Indivisible, says she believes Trump’s madman approach is deliberate. “He knows that by bombarding us with all of this, we can’t concentrate,” she says. “It’s a brilliant ploy.” And it’s working. Montanari says she sees signs of burnout among the activists and volunteers she works with. She hears a common refrain from people she knows: “I just want to go back to a world where the government is in the hands of grown-ups.”
Does fear, anger, emotional exhaustion — otherwise known as burn-out — equal that the undecided will stay undecided? If so, what percentage of the unusually large undecideds in Iowa this year will stay home?
It is a well known social science axiom that if people are given too many choices they decide not to decide. They do nothing.
But this is a different situation — with Dem primary caucus-goers rife with fear, anger, and uncertainty?
My guess is that a high voter turnout will be manufactured by Bernie Sanders campaign, whose entire focus is to get non-voters to become voters — which is how AOC won her campaign.
By definition, if you can get non-voters to become voters, you have overcome doubt and fear.
And it turns out that the system Bernie Sanders is using to turn people out, is relational organizing — which finds and organizes your own friends to motivate and move you in a certain direction (to support Sanders) and then to make sure you attend the caucuses.
If the fear, anger, and emotional exhaustion produce a non-decision, then which candidate, if not Sanders, will be impacted?
It is a very interesting and relevant question — and one we won’t have to wait long to find out the answer to.
How many of these tired, angry and fearful voters will heed Yang’s message of putting down the Trump worry beads and focus on solutions?
“Yang says he sees Trump fatigue as one of the reasons his message — that the president is a symptom of bigger changes in our country and economy, including the rise of automation and artificial intelligence — has resonated. “There is the sense that Democrats are painting [Trump] as the cause of all the problems, and many Americans are just fed up because there’s more of a focus on Trump than on their towns and cities.”
But the entire liberal media complex cannot stop with their Trump worry beads. It’s critical to their ratings and DNA and likely the mental health of the key decision-makers — the impeachment rocket exploding on the pad, notwithstanding.
But fact that the media’s Trump worry bead fixation it is emotionally draining their viewers, their fellow-travelers and their natural political allies seems incapable of restraining the media.
My guess is that a substantial portion of the undecided will simply not show up, because they remain undecided, say a third of the undecided will be in this camp.
And their non-participation will magnify the effect of the decided non-voters who do show up. They will be for Sanders.
If I had to guess, Biden is the most likely to be hurt the most from the I-can’t-decide-so-I’m-staying-home phenomenon.