Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Obama Voters

I love this Neal Boortz rant, posted shortly after healthcare reform passed. An excerpt:
People knew what they were getting themselves into. The fact is that they really didn't give a flying flip. All they cared about what that [Obama] was "cool" and had a "hot bod" and, for some, because of the color of his skin. If you asked the average Obama supporter what his position was on healthcare, I bet you dollars to doughnuts that they could not tell you.
I'm not sure how the voters "knew what they were getting themselves into" while simultaneously being unaware of Obama's positions, but whatever. Boortz also throws out the always popular:
You wanted "change" but you couldn't tell me what he wanted to "change."
I don't want to discount the possibility that he's being (somewhat) facetious here,[1] but there's a pretty strong sense that Boortz is unwilling to even entertain the idea that some people who vote Democrat do, in fact, know what they're getting into. Well, of course they do. I know a lot of them. In the latte-sipping, hybrid-driving, elitist circles I associate with, Obama's positions on healthcare reform were, and still are, a common subject of discussion among supporters and opponents alike.

If that was a surprise, then this will require a firm grasp on one's socks, lest they be knocked right off one's feet. Virtually all of the Obama supporters I know are happy that healthcare reform passed. Granted, there are probably a handful who returned to their caves shortly after Election Day and will not find out about it until sometime in the future when they're hauled in front of a death panel, but shockingly few—zero, even—reacted to the news by taking to the streets, screaming "Oh God, what have we done? This monster of our own creation will surely destroy us all!"

So, to the extent Boortz intends this to be taken seriously, one of two inferences can be drawn:
  1. He thinks Obama voters are too dumb to process information and reach rational, informed decisions.
  2. He thinks voting for Obama, in and of itself, is proof of an inability to process information and reach rational, informed decisions.
Either way, as far as Boortz is concerned, Obama voters bring nothing to the table. No worthwhile ideas, interesting perspectives, or even a basic level of political engagement. This despite the fact that it is not uncommon for Boortz to concede that Obama is right about some issue or another (typically accompanied by something condescending like "guess what? I actually agree with him!," "Holy cow! I agree with Obama on this one!," or "Well said, Mr. President. Wait! Did I just say 'Mr. President?'").

Boortz is hardly alone. Way too many opinionated people—conservative, libertarian, liberal, or miscellaneous—have no respect for the opposition. But what's the point of having an opinion if you don't challenge it on a regular basis?[2]

1. Boortz makes no secret of the fact that he enjoys offending people, and I have no complaint with that. Well, one complaint. He keeps the line between intentionally offensive content and earnest statements of opinion as blurred as possible, in an attempt to have it both ways. If someone takes offense, he ridicules the metaphorical thinness of their skin; if someone agrees with the sentiment, he's happy to have them on board. It's a lazy, dishonest tactic, and I fully intend to use it as well, should the situation arise.
2. Does that make me weak-minded and indecisive? I don't know. I don't think I am, but I suppose it's possible.

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