I’m now writing book #7, Against Politics, for Princeton University Press.
In it, as part of a critique of the “educative argument for democracy” (the thesis that democracy ennobles us or makes us wiser), I want to present the findings of empirical political psychology and empirical political science on voter knowledge and behavior. As a simplification, I want to describe citizens in democracies as falling into three major types, though they can move from one type to another:
Type 1 (nearly half the population): Apathetic and ignorant citizens. Don’t have strong fixed opinions. Often have no opinions. Opinions can change easily. Opinions aren’t grounded in any social scientific knowledge. E.g., the typical non-voter and the typical swing voter. (EDIT: By the way, I think it’s totally fine to be a type 1 person, so long as you don’t vote. I don’t think type 3 people are better than type 1 people. See here.)
Type 2 (nearly half the population): Biased, irrational ideologues. Have strong and largely fixed world-views. Can present arguments for their views, but can’t pass an ideological Turing test. Suffer from massive confirmation and intergroup bias. Political fans. Extremely confident in their views. See other people as nasty and evil. E.g., most activists, most politicians, Hans Hermann-Hoppe-type libertarians, most people who donate money to the Democrats or Republicans, most non-swing voters, the writers at Salon.
Type 3 (small minority): People who think scientifically and rationally about politics. Opinions grounded in social scientific and philosophical knowledge. Self-aware and only as confident as the evidence allows. Can pass an ideological Turing test. Dispassionate, in part on purpose, as a way to combat bias. E.g., David Schmidtz.
I want to refer to type 3 citizens as “Vulcans”. But I need labels for the other two types. They needn’t be Star Trek-based labels–they need to be things that have popular connotations, and so allow readers to easily package together and remember certain traits. If I use your label, I’ll thank you and give you credit in the preface.