Riddle: You’re going to dinner with a group of friends. Eight of 10 want Italian food. So how did you ever wind up heading for Chan’s Deluxe Veggie Palace?
Answer: Because the other two are either A) loud or B) loaded (financially).
That pretty much sums up the way many issues are decided these days. Politicians who are bombastic ideologues, flush with donations from contributors, or both, really don’t care what you think. From the collapse of the Amazon deal to gun control to climate change, the majority definitely does not rule anymore — if it ever did.
Let’s start with Amazon’s aborted move to Long Island City. According to a Siena College poll, New Yorkers favored this deal 56% to 36%. It could have been worked out if everyone gave a little and acted in good faith. Yes, good luck with that. Anyone ever hear of compromise? Mayor Bill de Blasio? State Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens? Amazon?
Guess not. And about 25,000 jobs go down the toilet.
Meanwhile, most Americans favor stricter gun laws (6 of 10, according to Gallup polling). Are you horrified that mass shootings have become common?
Tough. The NRA distributes donations liberally to political lackeys. Increasing gun sales remains its mission, as the carnage continues.
At the same time, a majority of Americans believe that climate change is real and a growing menace to them, their families and the nation, according to two recent polls. President Donald Trump recently commissioned a White House panel to examine whether climate change is a threat to national security and assess the danger of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. He appointed professor and climate-change denier William Happer to lead it. In 2014, Happer said on CNBC that, “The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.”
When majority opinion (let alone facts) is dismissed, democracy is in danger. Nations and politicians who ignore the will of the people usually live to regret it. And no, I don’t want to go to Chan’s Deluxe Veggie Palace.
Follow playwright Mike Vogel at @mikewrite7.