Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just Another Politician - The Sequel


One of the most interesting thing about being on the internet, or sifting through information in this day and age is watching how viewpoints coalesce and form amidst all the junk that is just thrown out there. You would think it would be harder than ever since a large percentage of the time, there is now "spin" in addition to the information and also "talking points" which really are a means of ignoring the information. Yet much like how seeds still manage to pop out of the ground after a volcanic eruption, the right ideas seem to pop out amidst all the garbage.

Jay Cost at RCP has hit on the same perspective I mentioned several days ago and notes, much more effectively than I ever did, why it could be so effective. I call the ideals the Obama campaign present a false premise. He identifies them as a meta-narrative and I like that means of identifying it much better.

Obama's meta-narrative should be similar to Clinton's. It's tailor-made for a year like this and a man like Obama. But that is not the Obama campaign's message. Its message is: this great man will unify a divided America.

This is not entirely bad. Half of it is quite good. A message of unity could be effective, even though it is tricky to sell in a partisan campaign. The problem is the first part. Around what does the Obama campaign envision the nation unifying? Around the grand person of Barack Obama.

The Obama campaign is not selling a grand idea. It is selling a grand person. You show he is merely a normal person and that means the ideal they are selling is false and thus will not resonate, no matter how many dollars you toss at it.

I hope Republicans will remember this and jump on it. As has been noted by many, the factors out there create an uphill climate for any candidate coming from the right politically. The fact that the left is promising utopia makes this challenge even harder to overcome. Yet showing that the nominee is not a messiah leading us to the promised land really shouldn't be that hard. It doesn't require a ridiculous number of dollars and can be put across very simply. The same process works for the best issue out there right now, energy. Solutions that are realistic and acknowledge trade-offs while working for a better tomorrow should beat doing nothing today while legislating utopia into existence.