Blogs > Liberty and Power > A Contrarian Thought

Oct 1, 2004 1:55 pm

A Contrarian Thought

Like most of the pundits and experts, a colleague of mine this morning shared the view that Bush came across as defensive, rather simple minded, and silly in his reactions and body language. My first, personal, instincts, are to agree with that assessment.

But there's one small problem here - we've seen this from Bush before. We've seen the short, direct answers. We've heard the folksy tales about praying with people and rolled our eyes. We've heard him call people"Vladimir" with a kind of personal twang that drives folks of an intellectual bent nuts. We grab our hair and yell and want him to see how complicated the world really is. After all we've backpacked through it smoking grass and getting to really know people in our self-righteous elite way.

But when faced with the cold light of day I believe that a lot of people who live in small towns, go to church (because they want to), have"real" jobs, and shop at Walmart (not Pottery Barn, my God what a bad choice of stores by Kerry) like the fact that Bush bugs all of us know-it-alls. I think they like the way he boils things down for people. And I think they trust him for reasons of faith that a lot of us pompously try not to understand.

Everytime we've seen this performance that drives intellectuals nuts he's won. He beat Ann Richards with it, and he beat Al Gore with it. He crushed the Democrats in '02 on security, certainty, and simplicity. And last night he hammered Kerry, again and again, on the same lines of consistency and flip-flopping. In my mind, Kerry never effectively answered why he did what he did. If you're willing to listen long enough, and think about the world as gray, you might buy Kerry's response. But for most folks, the world doesn't work that way. Bush is no Clinton, but he's a bulldog when it comes to staying on message. I'll be bold (or stupid) enough to say it - I think Bush won last night with the folks that mattered most, and that group doesn't include people like me.

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Michael Meo - 10/2/2004

while your post seems to be that of a self-hating intellectual.

It is not wrong to respect rational statements, supported with evidence; it is not wrong to be impatient with bare assertion offered as argument.

Even the clerics intone that God must have wanted us to make use of our ability to reason, since he endowed us with it.