posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 05:20 PM
While it may seem more visceral than philosphical, LA_max hit on a point made about conservative's "love of action over words."
Looking at the 2 major parties' candidates, each one infuriated the followers of the other party, and the reasons are quite telling
Bush comes off as laconic at best, mispoken at worst. Yet in the conservative universe, this is actually an appeal. He isn't "slick," he isn't
as rehearsed, and he says what he's thinking, with out being overly concerned about how his words may sound to his opponents. For liberals, this
looked like the model of the southern idiot; brash, incoherent, and focused on a "Git 'r Done" mentality that is uneducated and lacks
Kerry's presentation appealed to liberal viewers because he was serious, careful in his choice of words, and took the time to go "beyond
sound-bites" and admit when mitigating factors impacted his views, or when his opponents had a genuine point. To liberals, Kerry did an honorable
job of appearing thoughtful and deep, two important liberal values. To conservatives, he seemed like a professional "suit," a talking head who
lacked the courage of his convictions, and who could never give a simple "yes" or "no" answer.
I honestly believe that Kerry was headed for a win until the final debate. Talking about use of American force overseas, Bush asked whether Kerry
believed we should have an "international litmus test" before we acted unilaterally with force. Kerry meant that he didn't agree with the
idea of a litmus test. But he couldn't ever say "no." He rambled on and on about America's image around the world, and why it should be rare for
us to act, etc, and etc.
Bush said, "was that a "no?" and the audience roared. In my opinion, Kerry lost the election in that moment.
Did the US electorate suddenly become conservative in that instant? No. But they felt, on the eve of that debate, that the threats to peace
and security required decisive actions, and not more words. Bush succeeded in reminding the American voter of that underlying sense, and capitalized
People didn't suddenly change political stripes; and they haven't changed back from conservatism either. They saw a need; Bush articulated that
need with a question better than Kerry had with his 2-minute answer.
On the other hand, it has gone the opposite way in US history. Personally, I have NEVER believed that Nixon lost the 1960 debates against Kennedy
because he had bad makeup. I believe Nixon lost because Americans distrusted his "action-oriented" worldview
That same worldview got him elected 8 years later, when the people wanted out of vietnam, and the democrats seemed to talk endlessly without offering
a solution. Nixon's "I have a secret plan" was all it took to beat McGovern soundly.
I think Carter won in 1976 because he could articulate the concept of Detente with the USSR, and Ford couldn't find a word for it.
As a final thought, I think the reason Reagan held such appeal was that he could reach both crowds effectively. His response would be to blend a
"liberal" and a "conservative answer: "Yes. And here's why. . . ." His short yes/no response appealed to conservatives, while liberals had to
admit that he had a consistent and articulated policy, even when they disagreed with it.
[edit on 13-11-2005 by dr_strangecraft]