From Friday, October 27, 2005, John and Tyrone discuss the crazification factor. This is required reading.
John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —
John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.
Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.
John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?
Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?
John: … a bit low, actually.
Tyrone: (shrugs) Probably right, then.
The rest of it is pretty amusing, too. What’s interesting is that Congress is less popular than Bush ever became. It appears that little more than a third of our crazy people approve of the job Congress is doing. If you dive into the numbers (pdf), you will discover that the Republican Party as a whole has a 62% disapproval rating, and Congress has an 87% disapproval rating. And these numbers are from the week before the government shut down.
I am reminded of the scene in the movie Das Boot when they take their u-boat to such a depth that the pressure causes the rivets to explode and become deadly ricocheting projectiles of hot steel. Suddenly, people are driving their cars into Secret Service agents and lighting themselves on fire on the Washington Mall.
The crazification factor may be small, but it’s taking a toll on us.
Open the government. Do your job.