21 January 2004

A Question Asked & Answered

Someone sent an email asking —
So, what's your take on the two pro-war candidates winning the Iowa Caucus last night, even though 75% of the caucus participants said they were against the war?

Here's my opinion summed up in two words: white folks.

My response isn't all that different . . . white people prefer duplicity to honesty.

Example 1)
The regular refrain from pundits is that the Democrats should "go to the middle", that they should woo the swing voters. But, do it not because they believe in what they're saying, but because they want to win people's vote.

The swing voters may feel just as strongly about this, that, or the other, but they don't want to say they feel that way openly. They want someone to step lightly around the issues and run a positive campaign. A positive campaign, as many people know (or are learning), is synonymous for a campaign devoid of any unpleasant truths. . . . you've got to, ac-cent-u-ate the positive, e-lim-in-ate the negative . . . .
Example 2)
Bush talks about compassionate conservativism, but governs as a rabid winger. Republicans, even those that are hurt by his deceitful policies, prefer him to talk the talk, even though he's dancing the cha-cha instead of walking the walk. As long as he says the right things, they'll still back him while he does all the wrong things.
Example 3)
Dean is called angry because of his energized demeanor and the emphatic gestures that punctuate his speeches. Heaven's to Murgatroid, that's too confrontational. Don't tell the unvarnished truth to your potential supporters during the campaign and don't be animated (remember the complaint about Gore's alleged stiffness).

Many white people don't want to hear the truth. When they do, if another white person is the antagonist, they're usually afforded enough leeway (excuses) to wrap the Brooklyn bridge, lengthwise. Smile innocently and talk softly. Speak only of sweetness and light, while privately (hopefully when the microphone is turned off) telling your staff you'd like the rat bastard and his evil minions to catch herpes (like Bush brother Neil) during their next circle jerk.
Collectively, they have difficulty with direct, non-violent, verbal confrontation. They throw rocks and hide their hands. They approach a potentially contentious situation sideways. You can always count on them to have a smiling face and clenched fists.

Keep your eyes open, and watch your back.

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