Monday, October 03, 2005

You heard it here first: the NRA is nuts

One question that really just now occured to me is how well various national political organizations represent the views of their members. For a while I've criticized the NRA not respecting the positions of a majority of its members on several issues. Part of what makes this so objectionable is that often the members are right at the NRA is wrong. Or sometimes the members are wrong, and the NRA is insane.

But thinking about it more, I suspect that the disconnect between members' opinions and official organizational positions is probably pretty common. And sometimes the organization is closer to being right than its members are. So (1) I'm curious how common the disconnect I mentioned is, (2) I'm unsure how worried about it I need be, and (3) pending the response to (1) and (2), the criticism that the NRA misrepresents its members positions seems pointless: the real problem is that the views involved are typically insane. You could criticize a political organization for failing to represent the views of its members, but I think you'd need a special sort of relationship to the organization to do that. Part of that special sort of relationship involves not wanting to abolish the organization. Since I don't really feel like the NRA needs to exist, I lack that special sort of relationship. So I should just stick to my guns and continue saying that the NRA's positions are freakin nuts.

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