These coarse and poisonous positions appeal only to the handful of voters who prefer destructive fury to reason.
This came from a NYT editorial, Dec. 23. One has to ask why this handful of voters has so much power. In the past, when whistle stop campaigning was the norm, candidates did not know what sort of reception they might get. They would have their supporters, of course, but there was a wider audience present. Over time, they got a feel for where the votes were, taking the temperature of the populace, so to speak. This is where the distortion comes in with faster and more targeted communication.
Surveys tell politicians what voters want, but in micro-surveys. As pollsters and campaign managers identify target groups such as most likely voters, in our corner voters, voters resistant to our message, etc., the candidates narrowly target their message for maximum effect. The result is a fragmented and scatter-shot approach which leaves us all puzzled as to what exactly this candidate intends to do in office. When he gets to office, he is barraged by lobbyists and special interest groups and colleagues, all with a very strong and brilliantly packaged agenda. He was out for votes before, now he is out for money for the next campaign.
Just how are we to reach that politician? The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street seem to be the answer just now. For this reason, I am with those who see the Tea Party and OWS has having more in common than most people, including them, think.