Thursday, December 06, 2012

Again With the "Fashionable Politics."

As I noted, I meant my declaration about fashionable politics to sting.  I really do consider it bad for the country to do business that way, and wish to shame others into not approving of such social and emotional, rather than logical appeals.

I think attacks on my position might form along the following lines: 

1.   Fashionable is an unnecessarily inflammatory and objectionable term.  Some other descriptor would be fairer, something along the lines of “represents the ideas of a majority of Americans well”.
2.  Relatedly, what I am describing as “fashion” includes an array of values that Democrats believe they should be trying to sell in any way possible.  Trivialising them with language is an attempt to trivialize important moral questions.
3.  Some liberal values are actually unpopular, and must overcome an inertial cultural drag against them. They are many, not few, and cannot be easily generalized.
4.  The fashionableness is true but trivial: every election winner captured a greater percentage of low-information voters, almost by definition.  Obama won a majority of knuckleheads this time, but Bush won them before that, and presumably, Buchanan won more of those than John Fremont and Millard Fillmore. This is the “Yes, but so what?” argument.

Can you think of others?  I am asking you to refrain from any refutation of these criticisms at present - I plan to have fun doing that myself – but I am trying to get a full picture of what might dash my ideas to the floor, and also, to get a better wording for these lines of attack.  Please humor me. Reading Fashionable Politics, what occurs to you as possible weaknesses or unfairness?


bs king said...

The other criticism that springs to mind is that you're using "fashion" to describe bad habits that are more common Dem appeals while ignoring equally unthinking emotions that favor Republicans (such as fear).

Also, fashion by nature skews younger. The party that captures more young voters will by it's nature be more are you criticizing fashion or appeal to youth?

One more: of course we favor logic, but things must often be made fashionable before they can be addressed. I just finished a book on the history of cancer, and even cancer had to be made trendy before it got some serious cash. Pitching something in a way that catches fire with people is just good sense.

To note: I can certainly think of rebuttals to these, but you said to humor you.

Sam L. said...

Don't know about that "fear" factor--didn't you hear about all the Terrible, Horrible, Fascistic, Nazi-like things that unmitigated MITT was going to do if he was elected?

Anthony said...

I'd expect an attack on the extreme of your point #2 - that some people base their political opinions (or identification) *solely* on the grounds that people around them have those opinions. Obviously, low-information voters are going to absorb opinions from those around them, but even the dumber among them are going to decide whether those opinions jive with their own experiences or moral precepts before adopting those opinions, so it can't truly be said that they're adopting political opinions (or partisan identification) uncritically.

Sam L. said...

#3--That's why they lie about those parts.

bs king said...

Sam L - good point. My absolute favorite running Instapundit joke is his "They told me if I voted for John McCain x would happen...."