Sunday, September 28, 2008


Does it really matter if a person is qualified to be president? From one perspective I don't think so. We don't evaluate the candidates, weigh their experiences and consider positions on issues. We vote from emotion, from reaction, from some non-rational motive.

Why do we have to endure negative campaigns? Because they work! Research and past campaigns have shown this to be true. Negative campaigns reach for our emotions, fears and insecurities rather than appeal to reason.

I watched part of the debate on Friday night. For a while I listened but then I stopped listening and began pretending. First I pretended I was Republican supporting McCain. I wanted Obama to lose, to say something outlandish that I could fault. Interesting. Then I swapped sides. I pretended to be a Democrat and gave my allegiance to Obama and had a sneer for Mccain.

It was a futile exercise because my mind, like most minds, was made up before the debate.
See (Larger version)

It's no surprise that members of each party thought their own candidate won the debate. That's what we do as irrational humans.

I read the following on a blog and it tugged at my attention: "Amen to Dan and his statement! Obviously an individual with some maturity and insightful thinking. We need many more like him to help this country make logical and 'rational' decisions about its future!"

I like this comment. It appeals to something in me; something that wants to be rational and logical. Just once I'd like to participate in an election in which we never see the candidates or hear their voices. In my dream election we won't know some data about the candidates -- name, party affiliation, age, gender, skin color, religion, sexual preference, weight and ethnicity. Pundits would not be allowed. Opinion polls would be banned. Our information about the candidates would come from the candidates themselves -- their voting records, their written position statements, their written proposed solutions to major problems.

Can you imagine our horror when the election is over to see our new president and realize we have elected someone who evokes a strong negative emotional reaction?


Blogger Buffalo said...

You mean as in the last election?

9/28/2008 02:10:00 PM  

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