Saturday, September 20, 2008

Trying To Mirror

It's always easy to see the bad reasons why other people come up with their opinions - not so easy to see the bad reasons from your own side. I mean those other people who came to similar opinions as yours for bad reasons. I don't mean you. People here have nothing but good reasons.

Following Bethany's hypothesis that people who feel that doom is about to descend vote Democrat, while those who believe things will pretty much work out vote Republican, it's easy for me to listen to the Obama people and shake my head. No one seems to make much of a positive case why we should elect him, just the negative case that voting for McCain and the Republicans would be bad. Many of the McCain voters reciprocate, spending their time on how bad Obama is.

I don't object to that. Voting for negative rather than positive reasons has a long, respectable history in America, and may even work better than getting excited about a candidate who is, in the end, a politician for a living. I can well understand someone making the negative case that they are voting for X because they can't stand Y. As a McCain voter, I can understand the anti-McCain argument. Heck, I could make that argument myself. And my anti-McCain argument would have the advantage of not including the stuff that's untrue or easily refutable.

I just don't get any positive Obama argument. What's he going to do except not be the other guy? The positive sounding items, like "hope" and "change," are just disguised versions of dissing his opposition. So. Everyone who feels that the world just isn't right, somehow has a possible attraction to Obama. The Arts & Humanities Hive knows the world isn't right because they're not in charge. The African-American voter knows that America is still not right on race; the government worker knows that there's never enough money going into their part of the government anyway. Yes We Can. Can what? Kick Them Out And...And...

Back when I listened to Rush, he said similar things about the Democratic presedentiual candidates in 92, 96, and 00. Probably 04, too. List three things you think Gore is going to do. And, right on cue, progressives would call in and say how the Democrat at least wasn't going to do all the dumb stuff Republicans would. It could hardly be worse, they would claim.

As I said at the outset, it's pretty easy for me to see how feeling-based rather than reason-based that is. But since that has been the basic presidential campaign for the Democrats since...since Reagan?...even Nixon?... I have to conclude that this is the core motivator, or one of the core motivators. They are animated by stopping conservatives...stopping capitalists. Even health care, which looks at first like a positive goal, turns out to mostly be an anti-pharma, anti-insurance company, anti-you-selfish-bastards argument.

My suspicion is that it barely goes deeper than that, even for bright word people who wax prolix. The fundamental sense that the world is going wrong somehow, and we must do something else. I wonder how closely tied that is to just not liking reality. Life is difficult. Poverty and conflict are the natural condition of humankind.

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