I disagree. I think willful ignorance is a survival mechanism.
It's pretty easy to tell the forgotten folk of the flyover states that the coastal elites don't care about them. It happens to be true. It's also easy to point out that there's no future for them the way things are going. That also happens to be true. Argue that things used to be better? Again, facts bear that out. And then when one side argues that the Trans Pacific Partnership is going to somehow make their lives better (when they clearly remember things going utterly to shit after NAFTA), the other side simply has to say "none of the above" and they've got a winning pitch.
Let's pretend I'm 55 years old, barely making ends meet, my daughter and her son living in my basement working retail and scraping by, my property values limping up from the catastrophe that was 2008, the plant not closed yet but every year you're never sure, downtown comprised of whatever could survive a Walmart ecosystem.
On the one hand I've got "sell your house, move to the city, retrain for a new career, compete against 20-year-olds, start over, maybe you'll survive the future." On the other hand I've got "Make America Great Again."
I can tell you which one is easier to swallow. It's the same one that allows me to cling to the notion that somebody, somewhere cares about me. I only have to accept the lie that they know how to fix the world while the other guys are doing it out of malfeasance rather than helplessness.
And really - the dissenting opinions moved away long ago and good riddance to 'em.
There's trust at the heart of that willful ignorance - "think for me so I don't have to." And the bread and circuses will help for a while, but not forever - watching Dixie Chicks CDs getting run over is fun but it doesn't speed up the line at work. The Carrier plant still closed. And while it might feel good to think that those horrible drug dealers that got Joanie hooked are gonna die like the dogs they are, there's a part of you that knows she switched to black tar heroin because she couldn't afford the Oxy two years after the car crash.
That trust isn't inviolate. And it won't last forever. And trust lost is trust betrayed and that never ends well.