I have a couple of things I wanted to document. These are philosophies I want to get down in writing, because I feel they are both valid, and decently unique. Now, you can’t patent an idea. Also, to believe I am the only one who has these insights is silly. But, in all the political crap I watch and read, I don’t see these two ideas represented as well as I think they should be.
I read a lot about politics, and I watch even more. I am fascinated by it, and it is like a drug. Hunter Thompson wrote a book called ‘Better than Sex’ about the Clinton presidency campaign. It is kind of ironic title for our perviest president since Kennedy. However, Hunter was simply opining that politics is better than sex.
We just got out of a presidential campaign, which means I can put this stuff away for a few years. So, in order to flesh out these ideas and document them before someone else takes all the credit… here goes.
Devil you know –
I first wrote here about the ‘Devil you Know’. What I am referring to is the aphorism ‘I would take the devil I know over the devil I don’t know any day.” It is an incredibly accurate psychological expression. Put simply, for you dummies – people fear the unknown. I believe, without any question in my mind, that ‘devil you know’ is how GW Bush got re-elected. He was a terrible president, and everyone knew this. I mean, a really really bad president. He was one of the worst in history. Even the right agrees on this. How so? They didn’t let Bush campaign for McCain. He had so damaged the Republican party that they needed to distance themselves from him. So why, oh why, would America re-elect him? The great pollster John Zogby said his prediction day of election was that “Kerry will win in a landslide”. Now, we can also acknowledge that Kerry was no dream candidate. He is just creepy. That isn’t politics talking.
Now, I know the concept of the ‘devil you know’ is far from new. However, I know it plays a bigger part in politics than anyone realizes. How else can you explain 87% of American’s disapproving of Congress, yet 82% of Congress getting re-elected every election? This I have written about before. See, Americans think that everyone in Congress is a crooked and useless jerk… except their guy. The devil they know.
I know that GW Bush was re-elected because people fear the creepy devil they don’t know. This is why most president’s get re-elected (almost 70%). I think that also played heavily into Obama’s re-election. It is home field advantage. In the NFL, for betting purposes, home field teams are given about 3 points just for being the home team. So, let’s say Denver is playing Cleveland and the game is in Cleveland. Let’s then say that the gaming line is Cleveland favored by 3 points. What that means is they are saying if this game were to be played in a neutral location, it would be a tie. It also means if this game were to be held in Denver, Denver would be favored by 3. This is why the super bowl is always in a neutral location
Splitting the left –
Generally speaking, Americans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. At least, that is what they will tell you. To explain that in one sentence – they are fine with gays being married, as long as it doesn’t impact their finances. I think America is more Democrat than Republican, without question. So, why don’t them Dems win every election? Well, one reason is that the GOP is WAY more organized with messaging and voting and everything. The GOP is disciplined. The other reason why I feel the Dems don’t win everything is that we split the vote. This very poorly done graph explains what I am saying here.
If you take everyone political ideology and laid them out on a straight line, you could put a line in the middle. People on the right of that line we will call conservatives. The people to the left of the line are then liberals. Here is the part where we are talking about ‘splitting the left’. If you are on the right, no matter if you are a tiny bit to the right, or at the super furthest point to the right… you still vote Republican. Again, I can prove this with facts. David Duke was the former Grand Wizard of the KKK. He ran for office as a Republican, even though the world knew he was king racist. They have 100% of everyone on the right of the center dividing line. The Dems do not have that luxury. See, the farther you go on the left, the more the vote splinters. Green party, libertarian party, Tea Party… etc etc etc.
So, while we can imagine that 50% of Americans are left leaning, the Democratic party will never get 50% of the vote. Again, this comes down to the discipline the right has. Also, the right knows about this aspect of the left and they exploit it. Sounds like paranoia, but it is provable. The Tea Party was invented by the Republicans to let liberals feel they could strike out against big government spending. I will name names, in fact. Dick Armey, a very powerful GOP senator, invented and funded the Tea Party. If you vote Tea Party because you feel you are sticking it to the man, you are a dumbass and a puppet. The man invented the Tea Party to make you feel you had a voice.