On the mornings after most of the elections in which I’ve voted over the past 50 years, two thoughts have come to mind.


One is something Winston Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others.”


The other thought is that for better or worse, we get the kind of government we deserve.


That latter thought is especially applicable in midterm elections like the one held yesterday. Most eligible voters didn’t bother to exercise their franchise, thereby leaving important decisions to other people.


And many of those who did bother to vote allowed themselves to be swayed by the misleading appeals in TV commercials. Oh, sure, most people will tell you that the rhetoric in the campaign commercials has no effect on their ballot choices. But they’re wrong. Numerous studies have shown that well-executed campaign spots are effective, which is why millions of dollars are spent on them.


The ultimate problem with campaign commercials is that they provide most of the political  information — or misinformation, as it were  — that enters the minds of most voters. Most people are just too busy with other things,  mainly unimportant diversions on television,  to bother studying the issues at stake in a given election.


In the final analysis, however, we’re stuck with this faulty system of self-government. As Churchill implied, there are no viable alternatives.


Yogi Berra once said this: “If the fans don’t come out to the ball park, you can’t stop them.” By the same token, if the eligible voters aren’t going to bother voting, you can’t stop them. If they’re not going to pay attention to what’s going on all around them, you can’t force them to. If all they’re going to do is complain about a government in which they play no active role themselves, you can’t stop them.


They’ll just end up getting exactly the kind of government they deserve.

On the mornings after most of the elections in which I’ve voted over the past 50 years, two thoughts have come to mind.

One is something Winston Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others.”

The other thought is that for better or worse, we get the kind of government we deserve.

That latter thought is especially applicable in midterm elections like the one held yesterday. Most eligible voters didn’t bother to exercise their franchise, thereby leaving important decisions to other people.

And many of those who did bother to vote allowed themselves to be swayed by the misleading appeals in TV commercials. Oh, sure, most people will tell you that the rhetoric in the campaign commercials has no effect on their ballot choices. But they’re wrong. Numerous studies have shown that well-executed campaign spots are effective, which is why millions of dollars are spent on them.

The ultimate problem with campaign commercials is that they provide most of the political  information — or misinformation, as it were  — that enters the minds of most voters. Most people are just too busy with other things,  mainly unimportant diversions on television,  to bother studying the issues at stake in a given election.

In the final analysis, however, we’re stuck with this faulty system of self-government. As Churchill implied, there are no viable alternatives.

Yogi Berra once said this: “If the fans don’t come out to the ball park, you can’t stop them.” By the same token, if the eligible voters aren’t going to bother voting, you can’t stop them. If they’re not going to pay attention to what’s going on all around them, you can’t force them to. If all they’re going to do is complain about a government in which they play no active role themselves, you can’t stop them.

They’ll just end up getting exactly the kind of government they deserve.