Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A word...

A break from the cartoonage to voice an opinion about politics again. Don't worry-this one will be relatively benign.

With my great love of all things political, I'm constantly fascinated by the elements that draw people to vote for others. Sometimes it's admiration, but most of the time it's popularity of some kind of ability to relate to and/or trust the person you're voting for. And sometimes it's none of the above.

Political messages require an effective communicator who can either make a convincing argument for why following their plan will be in your best interest, or who can completely obscure their beliefs to the point you don't have the slightest idea what you believe, but you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So there has been much talk in the last month from pundits who argue that the GOP needs to find its next Reagan-someone who can make a great argument for their beliefs and convince voters accordingly. That's undoubtably true, but here's the thing: why do we require people to talk us into things?

For example, would you buy a fridge just because a really good salesman talked you into it? Shouldn't you do your homework and arrive fully informed so you can make your own independent choice regardless of the messenger/communicator? Now I can understand it's important for a candidate to be able to effectively elucidate what their beliefs are and how they would intend to apply them to solve the various problems. But as long as they've enumerated those beliefs somewhere-say, on their website, or whatever-shouldn't it not matter how cool or handsome they are?

Let's put it this way. Would you rather have a competent accountant or one who looks really cool but who may or may not know a single thing about accounting?

6 comments:

Hillary said...

I apply this theory to Prop 8. Everyone who was against Prop 8 is protesting the LDS church. It wasn't the fancy ads that swayed people to vote for the proposition. Were there even fancy ads? The last time I checked, no one forced anyone's hand in the voting booth. People have beliefs of their own and regardless of the messenger, they had already formed their opinion and to vote one way or the other. It's just funny how they will form an opinion or research one thing, but not on anything else. i.e. foreign policy, defense, what "tax cut" really means when everything else is stripped away....

...and the list goes on and on.

Jessica said...

I agree with you. People should study stuff out first before they vote and yes, I would rather have a competent accountant than a good looking one. I have to admit though, I have been known to stand in the voting booth and vote for people's whose names I think sound the most interesting. Is that bad?

Shannon said...

Bad Jessica! Very bad!

Jessica said...

Well then, I will be repenting of that.

Carlee Hoopes said...

I agree 100% with you. In fact, Kory and I have had this exact discussion many times. I just wonder why so many people are so easily swayed by fancy rhetoric, despite the policies that the candidate stands behind.

Hillary said...

You had more readers when you had pictures of Obama on a unicorn - I think that needs to return.