Where does the problem lie, and why does it matter?
I believe my objection to the idea of voter irrationality is that it eventually unrest the idea that Kling also gets at that "collective choice is bad choice".
The distinction is important because if we assign the problem to the wrong place, we're likely to get the wrong solution. If we say, "voters are irrational", then we shouldn't get to vote. Period.
This is my point from that initial comment. Voters are irrational is a direct path to taking away power and rights from voters.
If we're rational, but we have clumsy methods of collective decision-making, or we're making decisions collectively that we should make individually, those are problems that rationality can address.
When I taught, I always gave the example of buying food. The more people you have to eat with, the more you have to compromise on what you want. If we collectively decide to have a class party and can only order one food, what do we get? Likely pizza... the most generic food that everyone likes. Maybe instead we could order tacos to be catered.
In any case, a class vote on the kind of food is, of necessity, going to be generic, crowd pleasing food. It's the median voter theorem. Maybe we get pizza. Maybe we get tacos. But we probably won't be getting steak au poivre with a side of freshly made pommes frites.
My point is that given the collective action framework, the pizza/taco vote is still rational. If we declare the class to be irrational, then I just commandeer the money and order something myself. The collective action problem just gets replaced by an authoritarian paternalism.
On the other hand, if we use our heads, we suggest a Bring Your Own Food party. We wouldn't suggest this, if we said people were irrational though, because we'd expect them to be eating the chalk.
Again, I don't think there's disagreement that our other rights are being taken away and that's bad. What I'm saying is that the consistent trend behind taking away those rights is to say that we're incompetent to exercise them. Claiming voter irrationality is just another step in this direction.
Nor is there disagreement that voting is often ineffective. But the problem here is that voting has become more ineffective, not that it ceases to be rational. Make voting more effective and it will be more rational.