The Make-Em-Miserable Hypothesis

by Daniel B. Klein
The American Institute for Economic Research

In his usual blustery and cocksure manner, Tucker Carlson asserts that a make-em-miserable strategy is in play in the United States. The idea is that when people are made miserable, they conclude that the country is “on the wrong track,” turn against the current leadership, and support a regime change.

The dynamic is instinctual, and so it might operate even though the misery, while pinned on the leadership by adversaries, was not in fact caused by that leadership.

We have an instinct that the current leadership is responsible for what happens on its watch. One can imagine how such an instinct would have been selected for by eons of human existence in the small, simple primeval band.

In the small, simple primeval band it was part of a process of deposing bad leadership. Evolution would have implanted this instinct in all of us.

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