Stagecraft for the Lowest Political Class

Four decades ago, a very good college professor named Martin Shapiro told me and sixty other undergraduates in Government 101 that:

… The American voting population is made up of three political classes: High, middle and low. The highest political class is politicians and their aides; the broad middle is people who know a lot, or at least something, about what’s going on in the nation and can name most of their elected leaders.

The lowest political class is made up of people who maybe can tell you the President and Vice-President, and maybe one of their Senators. They don’t have a lot of information, and view everything in black and white: good, bad; failed leader or successful leader. They don’t do a lot of nuance.

The lowest political class is the largest political class, and it tends to vote against perceived failure. …

Last night, Congressman Paul Ryan made his pitch at the GOP convention to the lowest political class. as Fox News said, his acceptance speech was:

Dazzling … Deceiving … Distracting …

But then, why the hell not?  He was, for the most part, talking to the lowest political class.  And his aim wasn’t to add knowledge to an under-nourished voting group but to sell a narrative.  And if people found his presentation “dazzling,” I’m sure he’s good with that.


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