now playing: dan fogelberg, “illinois”
moby posted this on his journal some time back, and i think it bears repeating:
you know what politics is/are like in the united states?
it’s like pop-music and/or dating.
example a: pop-music.
republicans are like ashley simpson, and democrats are like radiohead. radiohead fans will forever be mystified as to why someone would buy an ashley simpson cd, but ashley simpson’s handlers/managers understand what the lowest common denominator are looking for and they give it to them. radiohead fans think ‘that disposable pop music is terrible, and someday people will see the error of their ways and buy radiohead cd’s instead of ashley simpson cd’s’, meanwhile ashley simpson and her managers are selling millions of records.
example b: dating.
democrats are the bright, conscientious, responsible guy in the corner of the party and republicans are the loud, boastful, arrogant guy in the middle of the room. the bright guy in the corner thinks ‘that loud guy in the middle of the room is a jerk and eventually everyone will see him for what he is’, but the loud guy goes home with the hot girl and the bright guy in the corner goes home alone.
yes, radiohead are better than ashley simpson.
and yes, the bright, interesting guy in the corner is better than the loud jerk in the middle of the room.
but ashley simpson and the loud jerk in the middle of the room know what people want, and that’s why they(and the republicans)are winning.
democrats are nuanced and complicated and republicans are simple and sound-bitey.
people want bright shiny simplicity, not dark obscure complexity.
the democrats put their trust in people’s better instincts whereas the republicans put their trust in people’s basest instincts.
and that’s why the republicans are winning, because they’re not governed by ideals, they’re governed by results. the republicans want to win no matter what, whereas the democrats want to win because the public will, hopefully, recognize the primacy of their ideas.
and that’s why democrats are the step-child party. that’s why democrats are the avis to the republicans hertz. that’s why democrats are the runners up. because the republicans know how to sell and they know how to win.
of course my hope is that the democrats will learn from the republicans and learn how to win.
but too often it seems that democrats take the ‘high road’ when the noble and effective thing would be to join the battle in the trenches.
republicans are dirty, and will stop at nothing to win. we saw in 2000 that when democrats take the ‘high road’ that they lose.
so that’s the choice, democrats: take the ‘high road’ and lose, or learn how to compete in the real world and run the risk of winning…
bill clinton did it, and he won.
al gore didn’t do it, and he lost.
i hope that john kerry learns from bill clinton…