Politics Stuff

10Nov12

There was an election or something. Here’s some things I thought. Nobody else thought them, and people might not agree, but I’m writing them and they might sound argumentative, so… deal with it:

1.) 2004 Reversed. I thought the Bush-Kerry race came down to one group (Republicans) who seemed to believe their guy was THEIR GUY, and the other group (Democrats) who really hoped their guy could beat the one they didn’t like. With the 2012 race, the demographics were reversed. I don’t think too many Republicans believed in Romney the way they did for, say, George W. Bush. And even though President Obama has many detractors on both sides, I think the Democrat-leaning voters (not necessarily “Democrats”) have been on board with Obama since 2008. Fighting belief is very difficult. Fooling yourself into thinking someone’s right for you is just as difficult. In fact… 

2.) I Feel Bad for Mormons. This might have something to do with unbased fear, but hear me out. It seems the stereotypical Republican is white and Protestant, right? Or at least just “Christian.” Or at least, “Not Mormon.” But they seemed to have went along with Romney, despite being “a different kind of Christian” (I’m using paraphrasical quotation marks, and not actually quoting anyone). And he lost. What I’m afraid is that — given the fear and anger that comes with disappointment — some of the dumber Republicans will get real mad at Mormons in general. Like deep down, from the beginning, they weren’t real comfortable with Romney because of his religion, but they wanted Obama to loose, so they said, “We’ll just go with it.” And now that it didn’t pan out, I’m afraid those true feelings (I should say “true” feelings) will bubble out into something like, “Screw that entire group of people who are awful.” I’m afraid deep-seeded bigotry will rise up. It’s just something I think.

2.) Don’t Mess With TV. There are many election predictors that exist (Cracked.com has a great list here), but I have developed my own. It doesn’t happen in every single presidential election, but when it does, it seems to hold true: the candidate who bashes entertainment loses.

History time:

1992 – Bush vs. Clinton. George HW Bush says “We need more families like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons. Not exactly a “Ban That Show” cry, but it counts. BUSH LOSES.

1996 – Dole vs. Clinton. Bob Dole attacks “Natural Born Killers,” talking about how morally repugnant it is and missing the point that it’s supposed to be a satire (not my favorite, I grant you, but still). DOLE LOSES.

2000 – Gore vs. Kerry. This is a deep-seeded one, since the Gore family (Tipper especially) has long had their hands in the world of censorship, going back to the parental advisory stickers on music. But in the wake of the Columbine tragedy the Gore team (VP Candidate Joe Lieberman especially) talked a lot about regulating video games and TV violence and music (I think… Marilyn Manson maybe). GORE LOSES.*

2012 – Romney vs. Obama. Mitt Romney says he’ll cut funding to PBS, effectively getting rid of “Sesame Street.” And we all know how that turned out.

3.) Never a Real Challenger. I’ve followed Obama’s political career now since 2004-ish times, as I’m sure many have, and I realized that I don’t think he’s had a major opponent in any of the elections. His closest, fiercest opponent was Hillary Rodham Clinton, and that was in the primaries for 2008. But for the actual elections, it goes this way:

2004 – After disgraced Jack Ryan dropped out (who would have probably made it a real race), the Republicans sent Alan Keyes to try and… I won’t say “win,” because I don’t think anyone actually thought he would win. In fact, when John McCain heard of the decision, he reaction was “We just lost Illinois.” And even though Alan Keyes remains one of my favorite real-life fictional characters, the 70% to 27% trouncing wasn’t much of a fight. The only struggle for Obama in this campaign was during the debates, and it was the struggle to not laugh.

2008 – Obama’s main opponent was his own blackness. Not that McCain wasn’t a capable opponent, but that wasn’t the story. The story seemed to be “Will the United States elect a black guy.” So I guess his main opponent was racism, which he totally cured.

2012 – Now we’re here, and though the popular vote is close-ish, the electoral college is a wallop. I’m not saying the guy’s had it easy, he just made it look easy.

4.) Red State Size. My sister writes the “Confessions of a Farm Wife” blog, which is very popular and doing well for her. Post-election night, she wrote something that stuck with me:

“Did you see all the red in the middle, and then a blue win? Tell me when politics or anyone worries about the Midwest, and then I’ll get more political”

I’m not sure what it means, exactly. Because my sister writes semi-political stuff concerning farming, GMO-type things. The midwest has a real chip on its shoulder about a lot of things, not the least of which is the psychology of being known as part of the “Fly-Over States.” Chicago is the “Second City.” It wears on you, and I think that’s where this is coming from.

There’s a map floating around that may or may not be 100% accurate. It’s an adjusted map of the USA with the size of each state dependent on its population. So, for example, Arizona gets smaller while Florida gets bigger, that kind of thing.

The implication of my sister’s line is that there are way more people in the midwest being ignored through a Democratic win, but this map says otherwise. In terms of actual PEOPLE, you get a tiny Montana and a very large New Jersey. People vote in elections. Size of the state doesn’t matter.

5.) Hilarious. Because we don’t have cable — and because I kind of made up my mind who I was going to vote for all the way back in 2009 — I missed out on some of the attack ads. But not all of them, and this one in particular was hilarious to me, as well as pointing out some keys as to why the Romney/Ryan ticket lost the election (yeah, I know how they didn’t back this ad… *cough*cough*)

Let’s go through it bit by bit.

First off, it is hilariously SINCERE. To put a fine point on things, this woman is not a great actress. At least not here. From the very beginning, the way she said, “Mr. President” — to the camera, because HE is the one watching this after all — I actually laughed out loud.

Secondly, and most importantly, further hilarity comes from conflicting information. Look at this still:

This woman is talking about what she’s going to tell her kids about the deficit and jobs and such, implying how hard she has it. “But your spending hasn’t done a thing for my family,” she whines. I guess she dug into her savings to buy that iPad she’s using to watch debate coverage. It probably took away from the money she was squirreling away to re-polish her hardwood floors, or maybe do something with that backyard she has. And those granite countertops are probably going to give out soon. THEN where will she be.

The point here is disconnect. Here’s a woman complaining about how bad things are, but the image is of a person who doesn’t appear to have it too bad. And what’s worse, they could have easily done this in a set that supported the “Things are bad” belief. Are apartment has 7-year-old white (to use the term loosely) carpet, old furniture and a tube TV with rabbit ears. We have crappy counter tops and stained appliances. Our window view is of another apartment, in either direction (yes, we have more than two windows, so we might be a little lavish).

Again, disconnect. From reality. This woman doesn’t actually have it bad. But there are real people who do. But this commercial isn’t for the people who really DO have it bad. It’s for the people who voted for Romney/against Obama.

I’m not saying there aren’t Republicans who have it bad. I’m saying this woman isn’t one of them, and to purport that she is proves a willful lack connection to what actual “bad” is. And that’s how elections are lost: when you seem to not actually understand reality.

*Well… y’know…

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