Friday, November 20, 2009

The Left's Ignorance vs The Right's

I was writing a reply to a question posed by commenter CS (now guitarguy81) about a video I posted yesterday of two Sarah Palin fans who apparently knew next to nothing about her policy positions yet were both still huge fans of hers and it started to become so long that I decided to turn it into a post instead. His point was that there are more than enough idiots who know little about politics on both sides of the political aisle and that the corporate American media has played a large role in facilitating this collective ignorance.

Now I agree that there are way too many uninformed and incurious dolts on either side of the aisle in this country but I would have to characterize the average Palin acolyte as much more so than say the average Obama supporter. Obama obviously has his share of unthinking, knee-jerk fans but he is very careful not to specifically cater to them, he doesn't encourage outright blind faith in himself. He engages people in a discussion and encourages them to question and participate. Yes, he has a marketable image but underlying that he also tells people what he believes and what he wants to do and those are the reasons so many voted for him last November.

Palin on the other hand likes to play up the image that she doesn't have a great education and doesn't think particularly deep thoughts, and she talks trash about all of the supposed "elitists" who do. Her supporters like her for who she is and where she comes from, for how many kids she has and the fact that she's an "everyday American" while the need to hear actual policy positions and ideas for fixing the problems of this nation is to a great extent nonexistent. Her persona is her policy. And it has become the height of Rovian politics that the right attacked Obama for supposedly encouraging some kind of a cult of personality around himself during the campaign while they are now celebrating Palin as their empty vessel, neo-rock star. It's dishonest and it's frivolous and it plainly smacks of hypocritical populism.

As to the media establishment, I've said this before and I still think that it holds true: they're in it solely for the money, regardless of any political ideology. The far left and far right are constantly showcased because, as commenter Truth 101 says "society is driven by ravings" (while networks are driven by ratings). There is no interest in listening to two moderate left of center and right of center candidates rationally discussing what's best for America in a civilized manner. For the average American that's boring and it turns them off of politics, hence they turn the channel. The networks showcase the horse race aspect of elections and feature pundits and candidates butting heads and going for blood because the spectacle draws in the viewers, which therefore draws in the advertising dollars.

As for both sides of the aisle, I was criticizing FOX News once and a buddy who's mom is a conservative and is thus always feeding him the conservative line asked me what I thought about MSNBC. Aren't they just as biased as FOX and therefore just as (il)legitimate? And I said very plainly no, while MSNBC is obviously left of center FOX News is just as obviously far right of right. They are both biased toward their respective ideologies but they are hardly equivalent and I see that as a metaphor for the two major political parties in power today. While Democrats and liberals lean to the left, the Republicans and conservatives are lurching to the right and the sympathies and voting patterns of the country's independents bear out these electoral trends.

As I said, I'm sure that Obama has some unthinking idolaters supporting him and I'm also sure that Palin actually has some rational intelligent fans out there; yes, I really just said that. They're just not the ones you're going to see standing in line for hours to meet her and buy her new book. But while Obama has consistently tried to broaden his appeal well beyond his base in order to be more inclusive of those who might not agree with him on all things Palin has chosen to tack in the opposite direction: she has clearly decided that her rabid fan base is all she needs or cares about in her current endeavour to market herself and her image for her own personal profit while everyone else can be conveniently labeled as haters and attackers who are out to destroy her. It's the difference between acting like a thoughtful president and acting like an incurious talk show host, and every day that difference is becoming ever more stark. Oh yeah, you betcha.


JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

A huge difference between Obama supporters and Palin supporters is our willingness to disagree and critisize the President.

Palin supporters would never do such a thing.

The cult of Sarah is similar to that of Paris Hilton. No intellectual substance. But pretty and willing to be whatever if it gets people to notice them. I even wonder if Palin cares if she's taken seriously.

JBW said...

After that comparison T101, I now wonder if Palin is wearing panties.

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

Well, since you put it in proper perspective, I may go ahead and support her now JBW.

AmPowerBlog said...

American Power tracked-back with, 'San Francisco Booksellers Won't Carry Going Rogue'.

Leslie Parsley said...

How does Todd make his money now? Following his wife around or staying home with the kids? In fact, who is watching the kids these days?

Unknown said...

You said "I would have to characterize the average Palin acolyte as much more [uninformed and incurious dolts] than say the average Obama supporter.”

Would you say you have an equal number of Obama and Palin supporters as acquaintances? Of your friends who are Obama fans, do you maintain an ongoing relationship with any of the uninformed and incurious dolts? Of your friends or acquaintances who are Palin fans, can you give us some examples of their uninformed incuriosity?

Might I suggest that perhaps you’ve not really acquainted yourself with a random selection of either group, and so would not be in a position to ‘characterize the average.’

JBW said...

The range of my personal acquaintances has little bearing on my assessment of both groups' intellects and my characterization of them, Money. I've also never personally met any terrorists either but through technology and various media outlets I've been able to get a pretty good bead on them.

I realize you found my site by way of Don's Palin book post but might I suggest that you yourself do some research and read a few more of my other posts before you attempt to analyse the depth of my musings.