I decided today to watch the Tea Party debate. I don't actually have cable, so I just followed it on CNN's live blog. I don't think it would have been any less painful to watch live though.
Someone please explain to me why people cheer at these damn things? In my limited information from the blog, it seemed to me that only two or three questions were even answered. There is a technique that every lawyer (and by extension, every politician) knows: Framing. It's also something writers know because it's a way to tell a story. When a politician says to you "We shouldn't tax the rich. Why do you want to punish people for being successful?" That's framing. It's also bullshit. How about "Why shouldn't rich people have to pay their fair share?" That's a framing you'll never hear a Republican say. Although, Buddy Roemer did say it, and he's a Republican, but he was not invited to the debate.
In short, almost everything said at that debate was totally meaningless insofar as any substantive issue goes. They didn't answer your questions; they didn't answer mine. They just framed the issues that polls tell them the populace care about in a way that those same polls tell them will make people vote for them. It is, for the most part, idiotic rhetoric that is designed to cause you to become emotionally attached to their campaign even though what they're saying to you is at best loosely based on fact and, more commonly, complete bullshit.
Just because a politician says 'socialism' or 'freedom' or 'American way' or 'family values' or any number of other terms does not mean you have to agree with them. First of all, have you noticed they hardly ever use terms correctly? I am starting to believe no one in this country knows the difference between capitalism, socialism, and communism. Second, when you watch these debates or read about the politicians in the paper, I implore you to use logic or some manner of rational thinking to decide if what you're hearing/reading is worth hearing/reading. Do not let some fraudulently obtained emotional attachment gear you into thinking someone will help you when, if you actually look at what they're saying, you will realize you have no idea what this person will do because they haven't actually said anything! For the record, I do not think Republicans are the only guilty party in this whole framing business.
While it is on occasion my knee-jerk reaction to think of some of these politicians as morons, they are not. They are very intelligent. They know that the easiest way to get your vote is to create an emotional attachment, even if it's not based in reality or any kind of fact. Don't let them do that to you. Don't let them lie. They are playing the American people for a bunch of fools. Show them that they're wrong.
Whether you take Vote for You literally or metaphorically is, for this particular post, irrelevant. Do it.