Campus personalities present and past Rebecca C. Brown and Tommaso Sciortino tackle the issues. This week on a very special CalJunket: Rebecca learns not to chew with her mouth open and Tommaso finds out his best friend is addicted to no-doze.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
In defense of hating(also posted at partyline)
Conservatives have been pretty good about attacking anyone who suggests that Bush is unlikable or a bad person. “Bush hater” is thrown around like a four-letter word. Even when his administration accuses critics of treason or accuses McCain of having an illegitimate child or tries to dismantle the Social Security which keeps millions of old people out of poverty, critics are expected to act as if Bush is personally a nice guy with whom we just happen to have a policy disagreement with.
At the same time, it is respectable to hate
I do think that conservatives have a better media game that liberals do. It’s not because the “media” is conservatively biased (giving conservatives the awesome power to insert six or seven biased words into a New York Times article which get edited out), it’s because they’ve set up a parallel media with their own radio and television stations. Overtly conservatives, they present people who are willing to attack the opposition in personal ways, thus Kerry is unlikable and stiff. His wife is overbearing and power-hungry. Mrs. Clinton is a Machiavellian and personally dislikable. You get to hear all these on talk radio and to find out that Bush is a jerk who wants dictatorial powers you have to switch over to Air
Now, this may not seem like a big deal but I think it is because personal animosity is a great political motivator. Many Americans have no idea of Bush’s policies, they just “know” he’s a nice guy. They have no idea where democrats stand on
It’s important to be *able* to argue honestly that Bush and other popular conservatives are not a nice people. In Bush’s case it’s not just true, it’s politically wise. With Bush’s popularity at an all time low it’s important to start engaging conservatives in the character debate. If we’re lucky we can turn disenchantment with Bush’s policies and leadership ability into an appreciation for the character flaws (and warped sense of morality) that gave rise to them.
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