One of Canada’s most interesting and able columnists, Diane Francis, has come up with an ingenious account of why the American polls may be misleading.
I suspect that most of the so-called “undecided” voters are voting for Bush but are embarrassed to say so. The dislike for Bush, among his opposition, has become so vicious that any of his supporters are regarded as stupid or worse.
This interesting little suggestion implies that poll respondents believe that they are more likely to be talking to Democratic supporters than Republican ones when being polled. It also implies, as Francis points out, that the Democrats are more likely to heap scorn upon the Republicans than the other way around.
Anyhow, if there is an unexpectedly large Bush victory on Tuesday, you heard it here second.
The Francis article from the National Post can be found here.
How Canadian an argument. Hate to break it to you all, but in the swing states there is no stigma associated with supporting Bush. As a matter of fact, in most of the US there is no shame, embarassment, what have you, associated with the President. Remember, 75% of married white males are pro-Bush.
I don’t have a TV, so I watched the debates at the gym. All around me white guys were cheering bush and rolling their eyes at disbelief at Kerry (even when Kerry was factually right and Bush was wrong). It really didn’t matter what he said, they had decided he was a punk.
Au contraire, Ennis. Even in Texas, many of us wired sorts inhabit attenuated elitist circles where the pervasive and pernicious attitude is “only those stupid, manipulated trashy rednecks would even consider voting for Bush and those awful Republicans.” I won’t answer pollsters or put up a Bush yard sign or bumper sticker, even a friend of 10 years didn’t know who I am voting for until she called me to ask for advice on the election.
I am an enthusiastic and affectionate supporter of Bush, appalled by KEdwards, personal injury lawyers and political opportunists. I’ve stored a sign in the closet that says “More Cattle Less Hat, W Stomps 57 Varieties of Trouble” sign for Coming Out November 3. Bush by a (relative) landslide!
I’m a half-hearted Bush supporter (he certainly wouldn’t be my first choice) in Ohio, and I can certainly vouch for the fact that the number of “rabid” (in the truest sense of the word) Kerry supporters has caused me to bite my tongue more than a few times.
If the right was acerbic towards Clinton, then there’s something almost karmic about the way Kerry supporters approach the current President. Granted, Clinton never started a war, and there are many reasons to dislike Bush, but the lack of “tolerance” has really caused not just myself to reconsider the compassionate, caring left.
Perhaps the left and right are more alike than they’d like to think.
some people are reporting that their posts are being refused. This is a test to see if I can provoke the screen. Grant
Comments are once more unimpeded. Grant
Acerbic? How quaint. But not near as interesting as the rest of your comment, Nigel.
86-04 has been a provably scorched-earth playbook for Republicans, with perhaps a 5-6 month pause post-9/11.
I’d offer to footnote for you, but let’s be realistic–this isn’t about facts, and it certainly isn’t about Liberal comportment per se. It’s limbic, and in our mental freeze frame–one highly beneficial to this administration, I might add–world views constrict and harden. And the tools get sharper.
In these conditions, vitriol in service to one’s worldview is quite acceptable, whereas its use by one’s opposition is claimed to be a surrender to vice. Barry Goldwater said as much in 1964 and LBJ got 60% of the vote as a reaction to that philosophically un-Amercan interpretation of Americanness.
I would venture, your ‘absence of Liberal compassion’ in the face of failure and dishonesty is not the thing troubling to conservatives, but rather it is the fact that cuddly Liberals have picked up arms that have, heretofore, been the realm of Conservatives only.
And none too soon.
Vote as you choose, Nigel, it is your right. But please, reexamine the illogic in your above comment if you’re going to use it as a support for said vote.
Ad hominem aside, mark, (and it’s exactly that sort of acrid, caustic action that put me off about conservatives in the 90’s, and now “the new left” in the aughts) you’ll forgive me if I’ve been told (repeatedly) to expect the left to be different than their humanity..
It’s the guy in the SUV with the Jesus Fish who cuts you off on the highway and makes you want to curse religion, it’s watching a Mother smack her kids in public out of frustration and anger, it’s the seedy side of the soul that bears itself in what should be the most unlikely place, a group that heretofore claimed the “decent moral/intellectual high ground” (whether it was actually attained is another discussion). Democrats are supposed to act like they do on the West Wing, damn it, portraying holy anger only when perturbed to the highest degree, never letting the needling little attacks of the oh-so-wrong fanatical right claim their conscience, or their cool (something, I might add, that you’ve obviously lost in the above).
No, I’m trained to accept Republicans as hate-filled anti-“insert cause hear”-ians. It comes with the territory for them. Take it from me, if you EVER find yourself agreeing with Jesse Helms on a subject, it’s not pretty – once that happens there’s nothing more a man can do but fix a stiff gin and tonic and undergo serious self-evaluation.
Any idea, mark, what I consider the other interesting thing about this election? It’s the fact that so many people really do believe that if things will be better (in the case of Bush) or different (in the case of Kerry) if their candidate wins. Frankly, other than supreme court nominations, I really don’t see any significant change in the status quo coming from either party – and that’s what excites me about your post, like Mephistopheles with a soul to be gained, people are pouncing on their prey – the quick note left on a blog, the unattended campaign sign on the front lawn, the hopefully empty campaign headquarters, apparently either just ripe for target practice or within the migratory path of woodland creatures known to be edible – something (an intangible something, to me) seems to be “on the line” this very November 2nd. I’ll be pickled if I can figure out exactly what, though. It’s unlikely that either party will win a significant mandate with both a triumph in the Executive and overwhelming majority in the Legislative, and as such, both parties will lack the fortitude to make significant change.
So hate-on, Mr. mark. use your self-serving vitriol to advance your cause a’la Goldwater’s gleaming grand old party of yesteryear. But I believe that when the pendulum does swing (as it always will), and left becomes the majority again someday, many previously kind individuals will have become that which they began to despise.
I wanted to post some support for Diane’s theory.
I was a somewhat reticent Bush supporter, moved there from my normal stance of voting Libertarian.
What moved me? Because of the unbelievable amounts of hatred I saw constantly expressed against Bush. In the balance, I did not feel he had done that bad a job and I wasn’t overly impressed by details of the Kerry campain I looked into.
But this overwhelming flood of anti-Bush sentiment also had another effect on me. I would talk in private and debate points of Bush or Kerry only with the closest of friends (and sometimes not even those). When it came to any kind of group however, I would just sit there and listen while people would talk about how they couldn’t believe anyone would vote for Bush and they must be some kind of fundamentalists. I wasn’t even angry, just curious how they could come to hold this extreme position.
I am not overly religious, am well educated, yet there I am supporting Bush. When the other people in the room (pretty much the same as myself in demographics) start from the point that is so far in discontinuity from where you stand, how can you even have a rational discussion without taking hours to do so? Can it even be constructive? My experience with years of Usenet told me no.
These are people I like very much and I just didn’t know how to talk to them being in a place so dramatically different from where I was. Especially when you have similar conversations many times, who wants to take the journey of a thousand miles every day? So instead I stayed quiet. How I yearned for someone to open a conversation with “I like this about Kerry and this about Bush” instead of “Boy, I sure hope the Republicans get theirs on November 2nd”. But you know that no-one would EVER say anything like that in a group of people leading up to the election, knowing the kind of response they were inviting.
While I don’t believe it would have made me answer a poll any differently, I do think there was a very real undercurrent of Bush supporters laying low as they just didn’t want to be attacked for the choice they made and didn’t feel like they could have a productive discussion on the matter.
Sorry about that – I didn’t see the comment after posting and hit refresh, accidentially duping the post without thinking.
Kendall, great post, and my experience exactly, one ends up feeling “under deep cover” in these conversations and a little horrified at the presumption in evidence. Thanks, Grant
Even more than their narrow-minded ideas, republicans love money and profits. This is where right-minded people must attack now. Not to change their minds (impossible–have you ever tried to hold a discussion with one?), but to wither them away.
Stop doing business with republicans. Period. Turn their bottom line red. Put them out of business. Let them find out what needing help is like.
For starts, this generally means all big businesses–they are almost all led by republicans making every last dime from you they can squeeze out. Your supermarket, stock broker, bank, credit cards, delivery services, cable provider, etc. ad nauseum.
It often means small businesses as well–butcher, green grocer, hair stylist or barber. Ask the proprietor who they voted for in November. If they voted republican, bid them goodbye.
This is a golden opportunity time for new democratic entrepreneurs and a resurgence of a spirit of community and concern for our fellow man.
Find small and caring businesses–preferably without stockholders. Give them your trade. Yup, it will mean some sacrifices but not for long if we all stick together. It will get the hopelessly self-serving and self-righteous among us out of our lives.
Have hope. As we have done so often, we chose a dullard for our candidate for president. There are brilliant and charismatic leaders of the liberal cause out there. Let’s make the right choice next time and not let the political machine choose for us.
Until then, hunker down. Make some sacrifices. Get spouters of the old testament out of government. Make America worthy of being proud again.