The blogs are perpetually alight with the gaffs, lies, misstatements, and factually challenged utterances of the GOP Presidential candidates field. Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are so reality challenged it isn’t even fun to pick on them anymore. (Well, almost…) Poor Rick Santorum, no stranger to wacky rhetoric, can’t get a sound-bite in edgewise. Why are people remotely listening to these whackjobs other than for the sheer entertainment value?
Then, I heard former GOP Chairman Michael Steel speak this morning. He was being asked about Perry’s latest claims about Creationism being taught in Texas. Steel noted that it’s only August, 2011. At this point, candidates are not yet speaking to wide audiences. You have to take what they say in the context of who was listening in the audience. And what Perry said resonated with the crowd he was speaking to. Hmmmm.
On a completely different vector, earlier today I was included on the distribution of an email touting the horrors of HR 4646. The essence being that Obama is trying to take all your money and ruin the country. (Insert audible sigh here.) I readily debunked it, but I’m still responding to people defending the initial email, regardless of the facts.
What occurs to me is that politicians, pundits, and emails thundering about God and country, warning of apocalyptic conspiracies, and shouting from their ideological towers are the political equivalent of a musician standing on a stage before a crowd of half intoxicated college students and screaming, “Are you ready to rock?”
Hell yeah. Where’s my
lighter cell phone? You’re in the moment. You feel the beat. You don’t really give a rat’s ass what the lyrics are. It feels good. It feels right. And if you’re not at the concert, you just don’t get it.
The difference is that the morning after a concert, the lyrics really don’t matter. But the morning after an election, they matter a great deal.