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does blame win elections

my answer: no.

I’m having a very nice debate with Mr. Knight (who has the coolest screen name on Redstate!) about whether people voted for Obama because Obama played the blame game or not. Now, I can’t speak to everyone motives but you know I do know how the folks in my community voted and why, so I thought I’d share my reply to Martin here because I think, surprise surprise, I make a pretty good point and want to share it with you all.

 

Here’s my reply from the thread – this is from my comment thread on my first diary post.

 

 I guess I am naive. This was my first election. So what? I’m not ashamed of being idealistic, you are supposed to be idealistic when you have faith and a true belief that you are your side are better than the other side, and in a war of ideas – a fair fight – you come out ahead. And that’s not theory, it’s practice, it’s Wisconsin, where again maybe you all don’t seem to realize the significance of the recall here and what it proves about conservatives and conservatism.

I don’t think we need to resort to their side’s tactics to win. I think we win when we make our case the right way, honestly and no bogus.

My dad hasn’t voted Republican for 30 years because he wanted someone to blame. He voted Republican for 30 years because he says it like someone interviewing for a job – you got to ask, what’s your plan? That’s the bottom line.

When people are hurting, yeah OK I admit that blame becomes tempting, but it’s not how you close the deal. You are right that folks do want to know why things went wrong. But there’s a lot of folks we know well who voted for Obama and they didn’t vote for Obama because they blamed President Bush for the bad situation and these hard times, they voted for Obama because (and let’s face it) because the first time in 08, it was like a historic thing, and everyone was caught up in that. My girl at the time knew I wouldn’t vote Obama if could have voted then, and she said I wasn’t supporting Obama because he was black. I said, It’s worse to vote for him because he is black than to not vote for him because he’s black! Because racism is just a disease, it can be cured by just making a single friend and having a single conversation, but delusions of grander and thinking you’re making some big historical statement with something that in the end, is just a single vote, that’s not something that you can cure exactly. They voted for him because it felt good to them. ThaT was really about it.

We know a lot of people who worked at the GM plant downstate who voted for Obama last time, too – and that was because Obama made it seem like the plant would not close (even though the writing was on the wall, I mean who drives a Tahoe anymore?). So those folks really voted because they had hope, and Obama’s message gave them that hope.

And in 2012 they weren’t blaming Bush, they voted for Obama because you know, things actually were better (but how I tried to make them see it was because of Governor Walker, not President Obama!!!!!!). So again, no blame, but results. And the auto bailout thing changed a lot of minds too, not blaming anyone but rather because it was seen as a championing of the little guy. Those impressions matter a lot and it’s really hard to fight that with facts. I mean I know so many dudes who voted Obama just because of that and the closest they ever got to an auto factory was boating on Lake Michigan! *rollseyes*

I know I don’t speak for every voter here but my home town and county is about as typical as it gets. I don’t know where you live, Martin, but you definitely seem to be from somewhere more sophisticated than me, and and I respect that a lot. But simple folk don’t over think everything, and I don’t think you can read our heart from where you sit. I know my people and these are good folk, my neighbors and my dad and my family and everyone else, But some of them voted Obama and not Romney, and that’s OK too, because it’s just a vote after all. But you can’t tell me you know why they voted the way they did. Obama didn’t win votes here because he blamed Bush. But every vote he did win could have been a Romney vote, at least outside Madison *sigh* – because if they just had the facts, they’d see that what positive they gave Obama credit for was really in spite of him, or due to conservative policy bearing fruit.

Time wasted on blame just eats the budget we need to spend on education instead. I really believe that, and yeah maybe I am naive about it. But I’d rather be idealistic and naive than a cynic. You have to believe that people are good and trust them, give them benefit of the doubt.

I see what you mean by the difference between intelligence and ignorance. I never thought about that that way before. But so much of what folks are ignorant about just doesn’t matter.

And for what it’s worth, no one I know knows anything about the Kardashians or much cares, but we all know who our Senators are. Federal and state!

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