22 October 2008
I know a group of well-educated, generally likable, middle-aged women who are voting for Obama based on his 'smooth-appeal.' These are women I care about, so I won't mention any names, but suffice it to say that I've known them all of my life, know what their voting records are like, and have heard their opinions over the course of many elections. Twenty or thirty years ago these women leaned to the middle of American political thinking, but upon reaching middle age, all of them dumped their husbands, discovered their inner liberals, and took a hard turn to the left. The funny thing is, they can never articulate why (they took the turn that is, not why they divorced). One of them, having been an ardent supporter of Oliver North just a few years previously, told me that she had always really been a radical. When I asked her when she discovered that, she told me she didn't know. When I asked her why, she said 'because it feels right.' OK, then. So, this country is about to elect a man about whom we know nothing, who feels justified in covering up anything, who won't answer questions, who suppresses dissent, and whose policies are a joke, 'because it just feels right.' Dennis Byrne's excellent article (click the title link to see the entire article on RCP), sums up the political thinking of these ladies. He makes them feel good. Heck, he probably makes them feel just a little in love. There have been times when one of them says things that make me think they look on him as a sex object. I don't want to go there, it'll give me nightmares, but this really seems to be the sum total of their decision-making. When I press the subject, I often hear a defense that sounds like, 'Obama cares more for the poor and middle-class, and the Republicans just want to help the wealthy.' If I ask for data to back that up, they'll say 'everyone knows this.' Like Mr. Byrne, I'm not sure if there's any argument that can overcome willful ignorance, but I think we have to at least try to counter Mr. Smooth.