If you have been paying attention to all the Palin-mania over the past few weeks, you might notice a common thread running through all the negativity: Fear.
Here are just some of the things we are supposed to fear about Governor Palin:
- She is inexperienced and is just a heartbeat away from the Presidency (of course, should McCain pass in an untimely fashion, there will be no one, NO ONE to help her!!!11!!!)
- She will take possession of every female uterus in the United States and force it to become pregnant, then return it to its previous owner with a little something extra inside;
- She will force every school to teach abstinence-only education and creationism; and
- Her husband is the “shadow governor” who really runs everything.
These claims, despite their zero basis in fact, can easily be believed by the Democratic Party faithful. They simply reinforce our underlying credo that Republicans are evil, hateful, ignorant idiots, just as the Party Republican faithful believe we Democrats are weak, unpatriotic, foolish moonbats.
But to win a Presidential election, both parties must convince the undecided voters, since neither party makes up a majority of the electorate. And here’s something we may not realize about these folks: They’re not stupid. They’re not uninformed.
They just don’t agree with us.
Like many of my Democratic friends and foes, Barack Obama is convinced that Americans who won’t vote for him are either racist, or confused (the key moment in this video is about 55 seconds from the end). Indeed, the only arguments I get from Obamans whom I know and who come to this blog amount to just those two points, sometimes spelled out quite succinctly. Although I was certainly prone to using these so-called arguments in the past, I now see how totally ineffective they are when the person you are arguing with disagrees with you.
A swing voter is a person who is willing to consider the arguments put forth by either party, and then vote according to the most convincing argument. When convincing a swing voter to vote Democratic, the Democrats traditionally argue that the Democratic candidate is an empathetic and responsible custodian of the country and the economy (Bill Clinton: “Ah feel your pain, and Ah’ll balance your budget.”) When convincing a swing voter to vote Republican, you must argue that the Republican is stronger and more willing to protect Americans from terrorism (George Bush: “Wolves.”)
Do you see the problem with the way the Democrats are arguing this time? Sarah Palin and her husband are NOT SCARY to swing voters. Neither is Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or John McCain. They see all the candidates as politicians, neither inherently good nor inherently evil. Wrap your partisan brain around THAT one!
Notice that John McCain is not trying to turn Obama into a monster. It would be a poor argument, and would certainly backfire. Instead, McCain is mocking Obama as a lightweight, something that is laughably easy to do. (WE TOLD YOU SO.) And Obama comes back with what? Trying to turn McCain into a monster, and telling his supporters to get in people’s faces to convince Independents and Republicans to vote Obama for America. Yes, glazed-eyed Kool-Aid drinkers being even MORE obnoxious and aggressive to proselytize on behalf of The One. That will CERTAINLY convince us all to vote for him. After all, it’s worked so far!
When the next Presidential election comes in 2012, we’d better have our shit together, Democrats. We’d better have a transparent, effective primary process designed to select a WINNER based on the real, not the hopey changey, electoral map. We’d better have a Party Leadership that stays neutral and throws its support behind the ELECTED, not SELECTED, winner, no matter who that might be.
And most of all, we’d better have a lot stronger argument as to why we should be given the keys to the most important house in America. Otherwise, we will never win another Presidential election.