Since childhood two past times of mine are following politics and attempting to understand that which at first seems incomprehensible. Together these occupy a good deal of my pondering time. Since I was a child my father and I would have interesting conversations wherein he would use current affairs to implore me to look past surface rhetoric in order to glimpse the hidden agendas that lie beneath. For example:
Q: Why would news agencies insist upon discussing percentage numbers when elections are decided by electoral votes? Have we learned nothing from the 2000 election cycle? Bush had 50,456,002 votes for 47.87%, but Gore had 50,999,897 and 48.38%, but still lost because the electoral breakdown was Bush/271 and Gore/267. So why would we not instead concentrate on electoral votes?
A. The real story is not an exciting one. Obama is and has been ahead of Romney in the electoral contest. Facts are boring to many. Painting the contest to make it seem like a real nail biter scares the mess out of both sides and sells more ad space.
“According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday, 52% of likely voters nationwide back the president, compared to 46% for Romney.”
This sells more papers and pays for more stage lights and bronzer even though that poll gap is gigantic compared to polls taken 2 and 4 weeks ago where the race seemed much closer… by percentage points because the electoral breakdown was virtually parked at near the same numbers as in the image above. No change in the story? Boring. Percentage points it is.
See. Question and an answer that is not so obvious at first glance. A cynical capitalism over clear information narrative perhaps, but it makes sense. This makes me happy. Another example:
Q. We see it all of the time, but why would anyone waste every ones time with legislation that is redundant at best or impossible to enforce at it’s worst?
A. Campaign fund raising rhetoric, endearing ones self to their demographic while simultaneously kicking sand in the face of the perceived ‘enemy’ so a trumped up list of accomplishments can be manufactured. Ineffectual or not on paper I did something.
That is all fine and good and I have more examples, but I will spare your time.
Side bar: To my dismay I came of voting age in the time of Dukakis vs. Big Poppa Bush. Eesh, such a choice. All my young life I had waited for the day that I could honor the memories of those that came before me and cast my vote declaring, in the memory of MLK, “Give us the ballot!”… And then I have to choose between Bush and Dukakis. So I registered Independent and let my voice be heard. Have yet to vote independent, but neither side spoke to me at that point of my life.
Moving on. The current issue for me is that there is one question unanswered. A matter where I cannot for the life of me pin down a feasible underlying motive.
Q. The Republicans have a certain set of demographics that will never vote for Obama. Never. Will they ever vote for Obama. I have certain theories on the why, but one cannot fathom fully what lies in the heart of man. That is another discussion for another day. The point today is that it would seem that the Republicans seem stuck. Stuck on what? Glad you asked. Stuck on pandering to the electorate they already have in pocket. Since they have those already in pocket why do they not even feign interest in broadening their appeal, even if it is for pure political motive?
Every news cycle comes with news that they have thumbed the very groups in the eye that they need to move forward. Now I am not saying that I want Romney to win. I do not for reasons too numerous to state here. Even his own party does not really seem to back him. No I am speaking purely from an analytical standpoint. The only logical conclusion I can come to so far is that the Republicans looked at their slate of candidates and decided to punt this election cycle in hopes of putting forward a more palatable option next time around. I am not convinced yet. But many do look as if they are just going through the motions to appease the GOP machine. Does the very thought of the aftermath and potential long term damage to their party of a Romney/Ryan win scare them like it does many outside the party? Hm. More pondering ahead.
Perhaps like the getting to the center of a tootsie pop conundrum of years ago, “The world may never know.”