by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 12 August 2012
"If you present good government, then elections look after themselves." Jay Weatherill
Sunday morning straight talk. It's been a while. It's time.
Alas, Mr. Obama matters not. He is dead, politically.
The election--it's over!
Many do not share my optimism for the demise of Mr. Obama. When queried why, they point to something on television or the Internet or in papers touting Mr. Obama's popularity--that he's up here or there or somewhere. Or there's concern about the growing masses with palms-up extended arms forming queues for free stuff.
No question Mr. Obama, an 'ugly' president, is media's baby. And so goes coverage--where a small mob in reality can appear as hundreds or thousands on screen or in a photograph. Add caption, music, and soundbite or two, and the lie complete. Citizen, voter, beware!
But gut sense is there's not near the enthusiasm for Mr. Obama--it's more facade. Rather, think WIGO (What Is Going On). It's a term borrowed from the field of General Semantics--a discipline that reminds 'the map is not the territory' and 'the word is not the thing' and 'the picture is not the person.' That is, what's on television, the Internet, or in the papers is not WIGO--the representation of reality is not reality.
The distortion of Mr. Obama is not unlike media's efforts to falsely depict and compare the Tea Party and Occupier movements. The former was (and is) organized, cross-cultural, civil, and with purpose. Their legitimacy was proved counting votes. And will be again soon. Labels of rednecks, racists, and kooks did not stick because that's not reality--not WIGO. Not even close. The latter is a rudderless group, not cross-cultural, violent and destructive, and without clearly defined purpose. They're ineffective--other than disrupting good order, making messes, and wasting dollars for cleanup. Media efforts to present the Occupiers as a credible force equal to, if not greater than, the Tea Party movement failed because that was not WIGO. Not even close.
The point is there's a chasm, a deliberate evil one, between what media is "reporting" and WIGO. Mr. Obama and the presidency on television, the Internet, and in print is not Mr. Obama and the presidency on the ground--the former a fantasy, the latter a disaster.
As goes media so go polls--all suspect because
the voice of the silent majority is missing. The powerful silent majority--the folks who mind their own business; build businesses; tackle daily life through honest hard work and sacrifice; help their neighbors; expect character and competence in leadership; and want government to stay out of their way and kitchen and do what's right. When government fails they take notice.
The silent majority does not play in polls. They act in voting booths. The elections in November 2010 proof positive. Subsequent elections where assumed favorites--republican, democrat, independent alike--were defeated more proof still.
Grass roots insight gathered during the past couple of years convince me Mr. Obama will not be reelected. I am certain. I have chatted with many a stranger--in grocery stores, drug stores, post offices, restaurants, barbershops, airports, airplanes, and just about any other venue that comes to mind where there's opportunity for brief casual conversation. I am still chatting with strangers--neighborly chit chat--focused on the general state of American life. In anonymity, there's much that can be learned in a few minutes. I have heard a lot of frustration, pain, misery, and fright but determination, too.
I have talked to hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands, and the short of what I've heard boils down to more than 7 of 10 said they will not vote for Mr. Obama. Of that 7 typically two or three admit to voting for him but not again.
Lots of people are out of work. Lots of people have lost their homes. Lots of people have lost their businesses. Lots of people want to expand their business but cannot. Lots of people want to start a business but cannot. Lots of people have lost their way of and in life. Four years of stagnation in an acrid un-American like atmosphere caused by an unfit president has taken a toll. Patiently waiting for that first Tuesday in November--their silence and civility not to be mistaken for weakness nor indifference.
Who are these folks? The silent majority.
As to doubters of Mr. Obama's defeat, as good weathermen do--go outside and take a good look around. Take a deep breath. Chat with strangers. Discover WIGO.
The election--it's over--the R's, Romney / Ryan, have it! Big!
'Semantics and Communication' by John C. Condon -- a superb primer on General Semantics.