“He’s been saying the same thing for decades!”
It’s a common theme in politics: roll out the clips of an elder statesman railing against some unholy creation of government or corporations, and use it as reason to vote for them today. After all, he was right.
But no one really cares. When Ron Paul ran in 2008 and 2012, supporters made a big deal of pointing it out. “Ron’s been consistent,” they’d say. “We have to vote for him!”
The result? About 11 percent of the primary ballots, and not even a VP nod.
Fans of Bernie are trying to do the same thing, and on his second national go around he still isn’t wiping the floor with the opposition, at least not on THAT point.
We can explain it simply enough by considering normal human attitudes. When you try to persuade someone who’s convinced otherwise, how frequently do they concede the point? Typically never. And even if you successfully nudge them in the right direction, the chances of getting recognized for it is almost zero. Perhaps the key is to blame human pride, yet that doesn’t make things any better.
Another factor revolves around how the collective outrage consensus shifts over time. A conservative likely saw Ronnie as the best thing ever in 1984, while a Gary Hart supporter probably disagreed. Neither of them knew the precise impact various policies would have, or future economic developments. That’s because 1984 is not 2020, and the most important issues were different at that time. They were blinded by their environment.
Hope should prevail though, because GenZ types will have plenty of TikTok videos to use in their campaign ads for the tech plutocracy.