Sunday, August 31, 2008

Threat or No Threat?

There is certainly not any short supply of article's to read about McCains choice for VP. I read an informative one in the NY Times yesterday and this good one at Alternet today. The writer, Heather Gehlert, is no lover of the Republicans, but she makes some very good points and has some excellent contrasts; especially when it comes to issues that actually cause people to vote and how people usually think when they look at candidates. Sadly, it seems, the majority do not read nor care about actual issues, but rather at superficial things like appearances and who & what clubs and venues people belong to. Check out a few of the tidbits from the article, but it is very good, as well as informative, so you may want to read it all.

"That's because the very issues that Democrats say make her a political risk -- her newness to the political world stage, her anti-choice stance, her opposition to gay marriage, her support of capital punishment, her disregard for the environment -- matter very little in determining the outcome of elections. Voters -- some of whom dissect policy issues daily, but most of whom don't -- ultimately cast their ballots based on emotion. Not logic. Not knowledge of "the issues.""

When I read this I think of people, like my mom, who don't read much about issues, but who watch the nightly news and the "talking heads" on Fox etc. and take what they say as the gospel about candidates. She "just knows" that she doesn't like certain candidates, but cannot really tell you why. She doesn't like Obama's wife, but can not give specific details about what makes her feel this way.

"In 2004, John Kerry was the champion debater. He was sharp, focused, intelligent. He could call B.S. on George W. Bush and poke holes in nearly any of his arguments. But he was also stiff. He seemed cool and disconnected, not just because of his body language but also because of his words. His policy prescriptions, detailed as they were, didn't connect with his audience. Four years after hearing him speak, I can only recall that, on an intellectual level, I agreed with his points. But I don't remember what he said. His words didn't resonate with me. They didn't stick with me in my gut.

Bush, on the other hand, was the dunce. He wore a goofy smile and dodged questions in each debate. But he was the man people could imagine having a beer with. He drew crowds in with his drawl, spoke in a simple, unintimidating way, and so could get away with covering up four years of abysmal domestic and foreign policy. I probably disagreed with 99 percent of what Bush said, but I can at least remember some of his talking points. He said he worked hard and promised to work hard for American families. He said he understood American families. He said he would protect American families.

Was that a load of bull? Of course. But it sure was delivered in pretty packaging. And, most importantly, it made a large number of voters feel good."


You can see some this in the large numbers that turn out for the Obama concerts that end up actually crying at his mere appearance, they want to feel good and they are so overcome with emotion that this becomes their voting mantra. Drew Weston, from Emory University, is a clinical, personality & political psychologist who has studied this phenomenon and written a book about it; "The Political Brain:The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation."


"(T)he vision of mind that has captured the imagination of philosophers, cognitive scientists, economists, and political scientists since the eighteenth century -- a dispassionate mind that makes decisions by weighing the evidence and reasoning to the most valid conclusions -- bears no relation to how the mind and brain actually work," Westen writes. "When campaign strategists start from this vision of mind, their candidates typically lose."

I think that Timothy Egan, of the NY Times, summed it up best when he said," Palin brings a bit of the "Legally Blonde" aspect to the race -- you underestimate her at your peril."


11 comments:

Esteban said...

She is already beginning to lose her shine for me. Mostly because I found out she supports teaching creationism and evolution side by side in public schools. This is not only unconstitutional, but also friggin retarded.

But, since she is only running for VP, and even if she did become president this nonsense would never become law. McCain will still get my vote. One more slip up and I'm voting for Doug Wilson.

I don't know if you watch Weeds or not, but that was a reference to that show.

The Drew said...

mmmm...no experience,for church and state,unethical hypocrite,pregnant daughter...the only thing left is posing for PlayBoy.More like a throphy wife than V/P.

Dharma said...

Nah... he already has the trophy wife. Teenagers in even the better families get pregnant these days. Nothing you can do about it. Abstinence training doesn't work.

I would have hoped that by now the teaching of creationism, in public schools, would have been dropped! Whatever they want to do in parochial schools makes no never mind to me, but that stuff just pisses me off to no end. Let it go already and get thee to a nunnery!

No, I don't watch Weeds, although I have heard great things. I don't have HBO. Just expanded basic and DVR.

The Drew said...

One thing...'get thee to a nunnery!
The Catholic church does not teach creationism.It accepts science and it's place in our world.

Esteban said...

No experience? If were using that argument, then I would point out that she has more than Obama, who has spent almost all of his limited time in the senate running for president.

Unethical hypocrite? Care to back that up?

The Drew said...

Umm,trying to get an ex family member fired isn't unethical?Being pro-life but instead of nurturing her newborn baby she either leaves the baby behind or drags him throughout the country...embracing Hillary's message without embracing Hillary...more experience than Barack...now,that's a hoot.Barack Obama has spent his whole adult life in public service.Hell,someday,Sarah Palin might make a good V.P...but if you really think that she is a more qualified person to run the country than Barack Obama....

Esteban said...

1. Trying to get an alcoholic wife beater fired is hardly unethical.

2. Are you suggesting that women shouldn't be allowed to both reproduce and have careers?

3. Sarah Palin is not running for the same position as Obama. And what qualifies him? Good public speaking ability?

The Drew said...

Trying to get an ex in-law fired by mis-using your position is wrong.There are steps in firing state people,just like there is little thing called due process.

Most mothers that leave their month old babies for work do so because they have no choice....that is why there is such a thing called materity leave.Her child even has health issues.

Barack Ombama is a U.S. senator who has more Washington experience than George Bush had.

The Drew said...

Trying to get an ex in-law fired by mis-using your position is wrong.There are steps in firing state people,just like there is little thing called due process.

Most mothers that leave their month old babies for work do so because they have no choice....that is why there is such a thing called materity leave.Her child even has health issues.

Barack Ombama is a U.S. senator who has more Washington experience than George Bush had.

Dharma said...

Drew,

I can not even believe that you are condemning this woman for either working or taking her baby with her! Are you for real??!! Regular working women do it all the time. When I went back to college I had to take Max to class with many times when he was sick because day care would not accept him, or I would have had to miss my classes. What would you have done?

When did your wife go back to work after your children were born and did you insist that they be of a certain age before you allowed her to do so?

The Drew said...

No...no...my wife stayed home with our children by choice...don't condemn that choice...could we afford for her to?We couldn't afford for her not to.Full time babysitters for triplet children made her working not an option.Allot of working mothers have no option,they have to work and take their kids to daycare..it's nice that miss Palin can choice her options.

Saw her speech,she discribes herself as a pitbull with lipstick.I agree.The female version of george bush...smile and attack at the same time.Hell,I even wanted to vote for her.

Why not?What do we got to lose?