Thursday, September 18, 2008

The times they are a changin'...

Well, there are a lot of "detractors" of Senator Obama who mock his "near-celebrity" status - some even calling saying he's being treated as a kind of secular, political "messiah".

But, in a year when a Democratic victory should be easier than it's been in a half a century - in a period when the incumbent party is as hated and derided as any in my recollection, the Democratic candidate is losing!

I can't figure this out. When you listen to Obama supporters, it's a bit like listen to Apple "fanbois": a lot of passion, a lot of incredulity that everyone isn't thinking exactly like they are, a lot of pejoratives and emotion, a lot of acting as though their choice is a fait accompli. Yet the hard data just isn't there.

I keep hearing folks talk like this - as if Obama's election is an obvious choice and a foregone conclusion - as if no rational person could decide otherwise. Yet the data remains stubborn and unforgiving. This country remains as ideologically and politically ambivalent as ever.

I avoid saying "divided", because I don't think that's accurate. Our country is not nearly as "divided" as the extremists from both camps would have you believe. We are, more than even, a country of pragmatists and centrists - of moderates and populists - of left-wing libertarians (folks who want a small government that is unobtrusive and inexpensive that is not inhibiting free markets, but that somehow provides excellent and abundant services and ensures that no segment of the economy gets greedy or out of balance but without onerous regulatory oversight). Admittedly, we're a bit schizophrenic. But we aren't really that divided.

This is clearly the data we see in poll after poll. What is most amazing is how so many Obama supporters, (like their Apple fanboi counterparts), refuse to see it. There is a "clear choice" in November; Obama is a "different kind" of candidate; their camp is not politics "as usual". But the facts, as facts will be, remain unperturbed in their tenacity.

I admit, Obama and the Democrats should be looking at a landslide - an easy victory. And, despite their rhetoric of late the contrary, up until four months ago, they really did think that's what it would be. They have to be amazed and stunned at this point - with all the easy treatment by the media, all the tens of millions of donations by entertainment moguls and left-leaning billionaires; with the unprecedented low approval ratings of the Bush administration; with the Clinton endorsement and support - that they are not winning this thing easily.

It's encouraging, however, to me. Not because I oppose an Obama victory, but because it demonstrates to me yet again, that most folks are closer to where I am - undecided, unconvinced, hard-to-sell, yes, a bit jaded and cynical, a bit burnt out on political promises, mudslinging and blame-gaming.

I don't know who will win come November. And I can honestly say that I remain unsure of who I will vote for (not that it will matter much in my state). But it is nice to find relief from the extremists - from the dividers with their smug self-righteous surety; their condescending certainty - however false it may be.

So when I find myself inundated by the fanbois of the Obama-left or the McPalin-right - so sure of themselves; so convinced of their rightness and their approaching coronations, I take solace in the facts and the data - my hard, stubborn, emotionless, unblinking and unforgiving friends.


Eric Livingston said...

Changing indeed. Twelve days, one debate, and one economic crisis later, and it's a much different picture. I don't see any scenario that McCain can win....especially if Palin continues to be allowed to talk to the press.

Jeff said...

No doubt, Eric! The data, once again, has defied the pundits! After McCain latched himself to the economic rescue bill, he sealed his fate. Barring a major international incident or a huge gaffe by the Obama/Biden camp, I think it's a fait accompli!