Monday, November 06, 2017


People talk about the NRA money but the issue is more that gun nuts are single issue voters who will storm the ballot boxes if they think you're going to take away their binkies. So the question is, why don't pro-gun control people have the same kind of intensity?

I do think Democrats underestimate the intensity of their voters on certain issues and rarely exploit it. But you can't exploit it by being half-assed. "Safe, legal, and rare" does not bring out intense pro-choice/pro-reproductive health/pro-planned parenthood voters. "Maybe, kinda, sorta, maybe, having some common sense solutions like requiring additional background checks..." doesn't inspire anti-gun nuts like me who would, if your benevolent dictator, take away all the guns. Let's increase the minimum wage by ONE DOLLAR PER HOUR does not inspire voters concerned with poverty (or those who live with it). I'm exaggerating a bit here, but you get the point.

To inspire hardcore single issue voters you have to take an absolutist stance on things. I'm not saying this is good politics. My plan to legalize abortion until age 4 probably wouldn't be (this is a joke, conservatives). Still, there is literally no politician who goes on teevee and says, "the courts won't allow it right now, but if it were up to me I'd put the well-regulated back in the 2nd amendment and make it extremely difficult for people to own most kinds of guns, and we should work long term to appoint judges who have a more reasonable view of what our constitution plainly says." Is this good politics? Probably some places it is. Many places not. But lack of voter intensity on issues can be explained by lack of intensity on issues from politicians.