Friday, September 24, 2010

Emotional Politics

Via Andrew Sullivan, the experience of this campaign volunteer in Ohio explains what is going to happen in this election:
Steve Nicholson barely opens the storm door for the Democratic campaign volunteer trying to talk to him about the Ohio governor's race. "I don't care for either one," he says, "I just want jobs." The volunteer says that's exactly why he should vote for the incumbent, Democrat Ted S­­­trickland. "Not voting is a vote for Kasich," she says, referring to Republican challenger John Kasich. "Strickland will be better for jobs," agrees Nicholson, 30. So will he vote? No. Does he at least want a little campaign literature to learn about the race? No. The storm door closes.
The views of American about the issues have not changed since 2008. A modest majority of Americans still supports the Democrats on most of the issues: fewer wars, higher taxes on the rich, more infrastructure spending, more government action to guarantee health care to everyone. But the awful performance of the economy has put people in such a bad and untrusting mood that many will not vote and many others will cast "protest votes" for candidates who express their anger at the system.

You can see this as a foolish, emotional response, or you can see it, in a sense, as a bottom line demand that politicians do their jobs -- don't talk to me about your ideas, just make the country work. I think many politicans and all political writers pay too much attention to questions like "how is this vote going to look?" when really results matter far more.

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