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Tuesday, February 05, 2008


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I haven't done enough research yet to have a reasonable opinion, but that video was awesome.


This is going to be an unpopular opinion, particularly from a journalist, but here goes: Comparing the finer policy points of candidates who are generally in agreement is an over-rated activity. It offers the illusion of control.

Why? Because the crucible of governing and lawmaking blurs those original distinctions.

It's worth checking to see if you can live with the policies proposed by a candidate, but once you get past that initial screening, use ALL your senses and faculties, including your emotions. Emotional intelligence isn't bullshit masquerading as significance. Intuition isn't spontaneous -- it's the cognitive buzz we get from cues too subtle for our conscious attention to grasp.

I took a quiz that said I should support Dennis Kucinich. Well, I like Dennis, and I agree with much of what he says, but I never considered voting for him for president.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't research and consider our political choices. I am saying that there's an awful lot that goes into making a successful president that cannot be determined by cool analysis of record and proposals.

One of the reasons I'm supporting Obama is because his candidacy is generating a cultural energy that inspires things like this video. It encodes symbols and memes that contain tremendous, potentially transformative power.

Paul Krugman said that the Obama campaign borders on a "cult of personality." I say he's misreading the cues. I say it's a cult of possibility, and that people are excited about a campaign/movement that offers us a shot at expanding our possibilities beyond the depressing choices we now face. It isn't the man who offers that -- it's the man as the symbol of the people who support him. People are excited about the notion of working together to change the culture, politically and socially.

Such hopes are immaterial when examined via hard reason. But one could make the argument that history has often pivoted on such moments. I suspect that these things are only clear to researchers in hindsight.

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