Thursday, May 19, 2016

Social media electorate

Matt Ridley reminds his readers that genetically modified foods are safe. He cites a recent meta-analysis that reiterates the point. Yet the EU still rejects them. Food manufacturers here and there are busy stamping "No GMO inside" on the labels of foods they are selling. Our more-educated-than-ever public is apparently prone to hysteria.

Today's WSJ cites Gwyneth Paltrow's views on detox ("Gwyneth Paltrow and Science"). Daniel Henninger writes about "Trump and Bernie" and guesses that their ideas resonate in an age when most people are informed via social media. "The Trump and Sanders phenomena have more in common with Facebook communities than with the two political parties. Maybe that's the future. Criticizing them, we've all learned, violates the social bond." Old-school Hillary Clinton is forced to try to stay in the game by trying to out-Bern Bernie -- and even to promise (threaten) to bring Bill back into the White House.

There is lots of head-scratching over what goes with the electorate in 2016. Henninger's is an interesting one. New technologies are usually mixed blessings. The networked world is a great thing but it appears to have put the electorate in a trance. Will our new politics find a way to cope with tax reform, regulatory reform, terror from non-state actors? 

There are many places on Earth that can be (have been) ruined by their political leaders. Here, at home, we can select awful leaders but we always survive them.