Pilkerton's Prognostications

This blog contains some of my past articles for the school newspaper and other musings I feel like posting. Beware liberals!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A call to all, get involved and vote


With only about two months left until the Presidential Election, the political landscape is getting more and more frenzied every day. The Republican National Convention is over, but it doesn't mean that its political ramifications shouldn't be discussed.
After the nonsense in Boston surrounding the Democratic Convention, we turned our eyes to Manhattan, after all, would any other location do for an incumbent president who led the country during and after the terrorist strike on September 11th? Despite this obvious and astute posturing, the Convention itself was of no real use to the GOP. From moderate to conservative, young to old and from McCain to Bush, every single speech was broadcast to the masses, and the masses are what really matter in an election.
Presidential elections are usually won by the swing-voters, not the existing party constituents. It is almost always assured that republicans will vote republican and ditto for the democrats. The real challenge is to reach a few certain demographics that have a decisive hold on the eventual outcome of the election. The most notable of these demographics are the couch potato blue-collar workers who don't have time to watch C-SPAN or pick up a newspaper, the soccer moms who are too involved with the twins to really read up on the candidates and, most importantly, the ethnic voters.
These three demographics are what win you elections. If you have all three of these and a major party behind you, it is almost assured that you'll win convincingly. For an example of this let us think back to the Clinton administration.
This administration essentially achieved nothing on its own, nor did it create any lasting institutions or platforms for it to be remembered by. This administration basically sat back and watched the economy hit an upswing and tried not to get in the way. However, what Clinton did have was charisma and a phenomenal ability to reach those essential demographics.
The blue-collar man loved his humble background (and most likely smiled at his philandering), the soccer moms were enthralled by his speaking ability, and of course the ethnic voters were very impressed by his more than charitable eye towards social services.
Call it whatever you will, a sad reality of human manipulation or perhaps a keen political strategy resulting in re-election despite ineffective legislative production, appeals to these masses and works every time. Isn't it what these showy conventions are all about?
Returning now to Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan, we were bombarded by Pro-Bush propaganda wherever we turned. I'm not certain, but I thought I actually heard a television commercial for Entertainment Tonight 'Live at the Republican Convention.' I expected the stylishly nerdy gang of whiny liberals from MTV to be there, but the leggy temptresses of Entertainment tonight?
The Republican National Convention was indeed designed to be seen by the masses, tactfully constructed so well that it would only be a matter of time before networks like Nickelodeon and Spice would be knocking down the door in order to obtain press passes. What was the result of all this media exposure for three days? This Convention, not the Democratic Convention is the freshest in the public mind come election time. It is the short term, ADD memory of the masses that political tacticians cover the most. Traditionally polls jump for the nominee in said conventions in the weeks immediately following their three-day extravaganza of public posturing and (in Kerry's case, painfully forced acceptance speeches).
After this summer's Democratic convention, Kerry jumped as much as 10 points in polls taken immediately following the event. Of course these numbers are artificial and tend to eventually settle at a much more realistic gain of one or two points. The trick is to make sure that upswing following your convention has enough staying power to give you that extra edge in the public consciousness.
Another staple of these conventions are the protests. With so much attention being given to these rabble-rousing citizens, we must laugh when we see their pathetically idealistic faces on our local newscasts. Regarding the protests at the Republican Convention (because the anti-Bush crowd is a bit more vocal), what these people didn't realize is that no one saw them on television holding a sign saying something generic like 'no blood for oil' gasping and turning to their wives saying, "hun, did you see that? Because of that patriotic young do-gooder I'm going to get more involved."
Come on, people, use your common sense, no one gives a damn if you protest or not, you are still an interfering idiot who needs to get a job. This may be a bit of a generalization but when you look across the spectrum, it is the stubbly, L. L. Bean wearing Phish-head, Uber-liberal who usually turns up at these events.
I hope that this has been a bit of a glimpse inside the world of maneuvering and posturing that goes on during these Conventions. Look for Bush's numbers to go up following this spectacle and note how the Kerry camp responds to the media blitz in New York. The Kerry campaign will most likely use some of the conventions speakers and their own politics in order to stage an attack or several attacks in order for them to keep their snouts in the public trough.
Politics is great, isn't it?
It is going to be a fun few months and I urge you folks to get involved, no matter which side of the fence you sit on. Lastly, make up your own minds this election season and don't be swayed by other people, magazines, newspapers or films, everyone has their agenda. Beware and Godspeed.


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