Though democracy remains the most proven and effective form of government in human history, that doesn’t mean that it is not without its challenges. According to Aron Govil – author of the book “A Nation of Sheep Will Believe a Trump” – one of the most pressing of these challenges is an uneducated electorate.
In his Book, Govil cites research which indicates that people with lower levels of education have greater tendency to believe in conspiracy theories or paranormal phenomena that provide simple explanations for distressing and complex events in their surroundings. When these people feel powerless and lack control in their daily lives, then they become more receptive to conspiracy theories which allow them to blame others for their misery or else to identify a superhuman hero who will solve their problems. Whereas those people with graduate and postgraduate degrees, are more likely to believe that complex social problems do not have simple solutions and cannot be solved by a single person.
John Adams once said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right … and a desire to know.” It was also John Adams who said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Now, Aron Govil believes that we are treading dangerously close to the point where it is our own democracy that is upended by misinformation.
In his book, Aron Govil discusses the Dunning Kruger effect, a theory proposed by psychologists Justin Kruger and David Dunning that suggests that people who are uninformed or misled tend to overestimate their own knowledge. It is this effect that Aron Govil largely credits for the election of Donald Trump in 2016.
In “A Nation of Sheep Will Believe a Trump”, Aron Govil goes to great lengths to explain how political opinions are formed and the social and economic factors that have the biggest impact on one’s beliefs. He also goes on to highlight the fortunate safeguards that served as salvation for our democracy during Trump’s attempts to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.
According to Aron Govil, the election of Donald Trump and the chaos that followed shows just how devastating a misinformed electorate can quickly become even for democracy as stable and established as the United States. If left unchecked, Govil warns that we could see similar consequences again in the not-so-distant future. To prevent an uneducated and misinformed population from one day turning our democracy into a dictatorship, Govil goes on to recommend a number of safeguards to help protect against the threat that ignorant voters pose to American democracy.
It’s a threat that is nothing new to democracy, with even the founding fathers pointing out the potential dangers of a misinformed electorate. In today’s era where misinformation spreads across the World Wide Web like a virus, though, it’s a threat that is especially concerning. According to Aron Govil, most people don’t realize just how close we’ve come to destruction over the past few years thanks to misinformed voters. If the right measures are not taken, Govil fears that the next disaster for our democracy might be right around the corner.