[lit-ideas] Re: Hate Clubs

  • From: Robert.Paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Robert Paul)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: 28 Jun 2004 11:11:45 PDT

Eric wrote:

>It's a hate thing. The majority of voters hate people who use big words,
display metacognitive process, cite literature and science, or dress in

I really doubt is has much to do with hate--distrust, maybe, or suspicion. But
it wouldn't follow from this, even if it were true, that voters were attracted
by incoherence. It isn't that Bush speaks simply, avoids peridic sentences, and
doesn't draw parallels between Vietnam and the Athenians' Sicilian expedition,
for neither did Truman speak this way or evoke similar parallels from ancient
history. And neither did Truman simply talk gibberish. 

Nobody could have scripted Bush's incoherence. He speaks like a space alien in a
drug-induced coma. I seriously doubt that this inspires trust in  or appeals to
'most people.' There have been plenty of plain-spoken politicians who were loved
by the people _because_ they were plain-spoken--plain-spoken but articulate. One
could follow what they said. I think for example of Oregon's Senator Wayne
Morse, who's largely forgotten now, but who attacked McArthyism early, and was
one of two senators to vote against the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution. I think
Eisenhower's ramblings were forgiven because for a time people really did like
Ike: he was trusted in spite of his bumbling, not because of it. This is not
Bush's way of words. I don't believe the his words express his thoughts badly. I
don't believe there are any thoughts behind them to be expressed. Plain speech
and absolute nonsense are entirely different things.

As for the tuxedos, I've seen more footage of W in a tux than I have of any
other politician I can think of...

Robert Paul
The Reed Institute

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