Ballots Are Better than Bullets
By Arnold Kling
If all policy decisions were straightforward economic calculations, it might be simpler and better for everyone if only people who had a grasp of economics participated in the political process. But many policy decisions don’t have an optimal answer. They involve values that are deeply contested: when life begins, whether liberty is more important than equality, how racial integration is best achieved (and what would count as genuine integration).
In the end, the group that loses these contests must abide by the outcome, must regard the wishes of the majority as legitimate. The only way it can be expected to do so is if it has been made to feel that it had a voice in the process, even if that voice is, in practical terms, symbolic. A great virtue of democratic polities is stability.
This is at the end of his review of Bryan’s Myth of the Rational Voter. I have to say that the book is getting a fantastic amount of attention. Whether that translates into sales is something else. But at the very least, it would seem to be enough to get the book into university libraries and onto political science reading lists.