My The Myth of the Rational Voter argues that many wonderful policies are extremely unlikely to be adopted because voters are deeply irrational.  You could call it a bleak conclusion: If my descriptive views about the world of politics are correct, then the world of politics will persistently trample on my normative ideals.

Very sad, but there is a silver lining: My views provide me with a strange intellectual insurance policy.  The more my normative ideals lose, the more my descriptive views win.  If political disaster strikes, I can claim victory for my social science.  And if great policy reforms come to pass, I can claim victory for my political philosophy.  Whatever happens, either I win as a scholar or I win as a human being. 

It’s a small consolation, but it’s something.