Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It appears that I am not the only one who has had cacophonous earful of Senator McCain's whining during Senator Obama's overseas trip.  Here is the latest from tomdispatch.  Entertaining and informative, as always.  Englehardt asks an interesting question: "Will "character," the culture wars, and security fears help elect the most woeful Republican candidate since Bob Dole -- and in a country that not only increasingly doesn't think much of Republicans, but has never cared to vote old?"  A better question is: "Will the tired Republican harping on 'character,' fear mongering on culture issues and security trump the economy, a realistic and balanced foreign policy platform, and environmental concerns?"  The rest of the post (by Ira Chernus) discusses the sticky quagmire of the values and 'values-plus' voters and speculates that the real determining factor may not be the candidates' positions on issues but on the image they present.  Once a good many years ago, I taught a college history class during which we talked about the Tonkin Gulf incident (I think).  Most historians now recognize that the incident as portrayed in the press, and which led to the passage of legislation expanding President Johnson's war powers, did not happen.  One of the students asked how such far reaching action (the war powers legislation) could come out of a mirage, a phantasm.  I told them that often what is important is what people think is true not what is true.  In all of the elections of the 21st century the perceptions of the voters has been more important than the substance of  the candidates.  That is why the most insubstantial candidate in recent history, George W. Bush, has won the past two elections and why an equally insubstantial candidate, John McCain, might win this one. 

A blogger I recently started to follow because I saw her linked on the elderwomanspace I belong to has a similar theme today.  What do Obama, McCain, and China in its pre-Olympic frenzy have in common?  She follows print media because she doesn't have a TV but most of what she reads is superficial, sparkling, and 'well manicured' but which are unremarkable and unrevealing.  I do follow the broadcast media and can say the same thing about what alleged facts I receive by that route.  Same 'facts,' same presentation leaving the same questions and no follow up.  I think she put the case very well.  Drop by and read her comments.  And I totally agree.  We must look at what ever information we receive with a lot of skepticism.  By the way, my blogger's name is June Calender who also posts at Calender Pages.  That is also worth the time to drop in there.  Today she talks about using the selvage edges from fabric to make a quilt block.  I never thought of that.

No comments: