Saturday, September 27, 2008

I want to understand the Republican base.

I saw this viewer comment on about the debate:

I can understand being a one-issue voter (NRA, abortion, gay marriage), but there are a few things that bug me when I read comments like this. It's not "his statement" about the concession speech. That is pretty generic.

Here's what I can't understand:

1) When I see people regurgitating campaign slogans like "COUNTRY FIRST!" I can't help but think just how weak minded people are. Some will clutch to whatever PR slogan they see presented to them. Maybe I've been in marketing too long, but I clearly understand that the slogan was tested by a marketing firm to respond to those who have a simple and nostalgic version of America. It strikes me as cynical.

2) The "david from texas" tag. He feels the need to tell us he's from Texas, so that is what he identifies himself with. Texas, home to W.

So if I live in Texas, am I by default in love with Bushworld and all things Republican? It's like me being from Boston means I love the Red Sox and hate the Yankees.

Anyway, I just don't get it. Simple minded? Naive? What drives these people? What makes people Republican or Democrat? I have trouble understanding what drives the opposition.

Or maybe I'm just a douche bag East Coast liberal?


Nelson M. said...

I've been recently interested in this too.

The best explanation I've seen so far is George Lakoff's Dont Think of an Elephant. There he explains that conservatives have a Strict Daddy view of government. Like a good strict daddy, the President should protect against intruders at all cost. That means going to war is always OK if it's for safety. Like a good strict daddy, the government should instill self-discipline. He does this by not giving rewards for nothing(?) (Healthcare, Social Security, any entitlement program). A good strict Daddy also does this by instilling good Christian moral values (abortion, prayer/Creationism in schools). And a good strict Daddy would never tolerate two daddies (homosexuality).

And there you have it. This model explains in one way or another every conservative position.

This is why you can talk to a conservative for years confronting them with fact after fact, and the cognitive dissonance only gets stronger and stronger. They're always for war/belligerence in world affairs, they're always for imposing their religious beliefs on the rest of society, and they're always against any kind of social program. Lakoff says about 35-40% of the US population have this model.

If that is so, for a Democrat to win, he/she must get 50 of the remaining 60-65 percent. That's why it's so hard for Democrats to win.

Anonymous said...

Are you aware that using a term like "douche bag" detracts from your message and offends your female readers, don't you?

An intelligent man only uses foul language when he can't think of a better word. Self defeating behavior.

Jay said...

My blog, my language. If the language offends you more than the events in the county, you need a new perspective.

Jay said...

Well put, Nelson. Thanks for that. I'll look at Lakoff. There is some disconnect between reality and dogma. I assume it may be like how people can put their religion in one "compartment" and their actual beliefs in another, even if they conflict.