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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hurt feelings, bad winners and other random goodness

I've been talking to a wide range of my American buddies. They are a non-representative sample, and that is being polite. Everyone of them voted Kerry. Everyone of them is upset and hurt. They feel let down and cheated. Not in a Florida in 2000 way, but in a "what the hell just happened" kind of way.

I wrote about the idea of wedge or "hot button" issues a few posts back and I've given it some more thought, talked to my wife and friends, read some stuff and I keep coming up with the same question. What the hell will actually get the center-left to left wing of a citizenry out and voting and caring?

I don't have an answer. I really wish I did. In the US Roe v Wade might do it, but since that goes to the courts voting someone in or out of office won't really do anything. I suppose constitutional/charter rights might do it in both Canada and the US, but they are usually such complicated issues that they can't be boiled down into nice sound bites for the TV.

Medicare (socialized medicine, not the program of the same name in the US) in Canada can get people riled up, but most Canadians have such a "oh, they'll never really do anything to that" attitude that as long as you don't come out and say "we're scrapping the whole thing" no one gets all that excited. More thought on this is needed.

I've been spending time in my usual online haunts and I've been struck by one thing over and over. How incredibly ungracious winners the right are. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have sung songs or danced dances if Kerry had won. But, given the low turn out and the tightness of the popular vote, I wouldn't have been screaming "IN YOUR FACE FASCIST!!!"

When nearly half the people who voted vote for the other guy this means that either A) they really like him or B) They really hate you. Believing that your winning magically makes everything you believe to be true and right is like believing that everyone who gets a not guilty verdict in a criminal case is innocent.

There is a piece in Slate that I will try linking to, basically the point of the article is that running a smart, well spoken guy for president is dumb. You need to run a salesman, someone who speaks in short sentences and, is basically, simple. The article is here. The author suggests that John Edwards is that man. I dunno. I wish smart and telling the truth got you into office, but I'm starting to wonder. If the rules of the game are to be mean and nasty and basically knife fight and dumb your message down to win, mb the left has to get really really good at those rules.

Finally, personal stuff. I'm off to a meeting with a consulting firm at one today. They do synchronous learning stuff and some LMS work etc. I'm not sure what will come of it, but it will be interesting.

I also appear to have a job doing some needs assessment and redesign for the Faculty at school, so that is nice. I won't have to sell organs to pay for the mortgage.


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