Monday, October 6, 2014

My "Every Election Cycle 'WTF?' Moment

In a recent “newsletter”, one of many that crash-land in my InBox each day, were the following observations:

President Barack Obama said, in a speech at Northwestern University:
"I am not on the ballot this fall … But make no mistake: [My] policies are on the ballot - every single one of them."

The primary thrust of the newsletter was that this latest “Me My Mine” from the Narcissist-in-Chief was a big deal. Quoting a WaPo weekend piece from Dan Balz: "This is an election that is … very much about how people view President Obama."

After running thru the (highly questionable, always rigged) unemployment figures which showed an (alleged) drop below 6% and what Good News that was (guffaw guffaw), polling results revealed a giant yawn result from those who answered their phone. Conclusion: Assuming (and that takes a pretty big Ass) that the “economy is improving”, it ain’t being felt by families sitting around the Meager Scraps table.

Quoting from the newsletter: “As we come around the home turn before heading into the stretch run toward the November 4 elections, these are the kinds of things that can - and very well may - sway close elections. Voters will, like it or not, watch more commercials and pay more attention from here on out.”

As for the "policies on the ballot" line, Balz wrote:

"That comment may have rattled nervous Democrats looking to keep their distance from the president, but it is the reality they know they must live with for the next four weeks."

And from the Gallup folks:

"Obama himself may choose to be less active in campaigning for Democrats to avoid hurting Democratic candidates' chances."

Which brings me to my Every Election Cycle “WTF?” Moment. Are politicians, strategists, pundits, commentators and, above all, “voters”, really, really, really that stupid? Aggressively ignorant? Thoroughly disengaged? Can 4-6 weeks of passive exposure to intense, partisan bullshit called “political ads” swamping TV actually “sway” voters? If so many are so apathetically disengaged, what would “the last 30 days leading up to an election” compel them to suddenly become motivated to vote? Judging from the Veracity Content of the typical political ad, the “message” is either a total lie, scam, appeal to prejudice/”special interest” or as vacuous as a peeled balloon. Yes, I know…I’ve seen the Leno-Lettermen-Kimmel-Waters  “Man on the Street” interviews. I am also familiar with audio/video editing techniques. Have YOU ever made up or changed your mind about a candidate or issue solely on the basis of 30 seconds of USDA Prime Crapola? If you answered “yes”, you have my sympathy and sincere hope you will have – or will – move to a higher plane of understanding of how all this really, really works. Start here.

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