Sheeple (a portmanteau of "sheep" and "people") is a derogatory term that highlights the passive herd behavior of people easily controlled by a governing power which likens them to sheep, a herd animal that is easily led about - wikipedia
The gist: politicians tell voters exactly what they want to hear, even when it makes no sense — which is pretty much all the time.
# Related podcasts by Freakanomics: - How much the President really matters - Whether campaign spending is influential - Why people bother to vote - Whether we tell the truth in polls - Importing the tradition of Prime Minister’s Questions
“We the Sheeple” features Bryan Caplan, the economist-author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. You might have read or heard from Caplan in other Freakonomics venues, including “The Economist’s Guide to Parenting,” in which he discussed another of his books, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. Caplan is, to put it gently, not a fan of our current political system. At he puts it in the podcast:
You know, if you’re a successful politician, you know you don’t succeed by figuring out what’s really going on in the world and trying to explain it to people. You need to find out what people what to hear and then tell it to them. That’s what you see in debates. That’s what you see voters, successful politicians instinctively are trying to read people, trying to read their faces, what does this person want me to say to him, and that’s how they win.