October 22, 2008

Hate sells better than hope

I was refered to a well-written piece on Reddit (Hat tip, Madhu) that is highly critical of small towns, which are "prone to traditionalism, conservatism, extreme ingroup loyalty, fundamentalist religiosity, inexperience with (and, consequently, distrust of diversity and higher education, and so forth"

I saw some of this in my brief (little over 2 years) stay in West Virginia, though in our limited interactions with locals, we met some" good people with honesty, sincerity and dignity" too. Unfortunately, the divisiveness between small towns of America and the rest of the country is further perpetuated by the media making it a big deal. In fact, it is mere political speech rhetoric and a fantasy created by the Republican party in the past few decades.

In fact, it is a categorization that does not hold much merit because what the likes of Palin are railing against are not the people in NYC, Boston, and Chicago but the liberals in New England, New York, California and other "blue" states who are not taken in by her "charm" and will not vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. Perhaps it is too self-evident to tell her that there are small towns along the east coast too, many of whose residents will NOT be voting for her. But then she has her new categorization to decry them too -- they come from the "anti-America" parts of the nation. They are as American as Wassila, AK but are still somehow "anti-American"!!

Like a comment I read some weeks back said:
Certainly there are obnoxious, self-righteous zealots on both sides of the political spectrum; but it seems to me that the image of the disdainful elitist liberal is so prominent these days largely because it features centrally in Republican talking points. The violent hatred expressed in Republican anti-intellectual/anti-elitism speeches shocks me anew every time I hear it. If there is antagonism between so-called liberal intellectual elites and "red" or "small-town" America, isn't it possible that those liberals are simply responding to constant and explicit insults from Republican politicians and talking heads?

Another op-ed piece I read some weeks back spoke about how the hatred between the conservatives and the liberals has defined the nature of the campaign in recent days because...

...hatred is the most powerful emotion in politics. At present, American liberals are not fighting for an Obama presidency. I suspect that most have only the haziest idea of what it would mean for their country. The slogans that move their hearts and stir their souls are directed against their enemies: Bush, the neo-cons, the religious right.


Hate sells better than hope.

Perhaps. But that is why we need an audacious and inspiring leader to lead the nation, like Colin Powell so eloquently put over the weekend.

Recent posts on the subject: 1, 2, 3, 4.

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