Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hell continues to freeze?!

What the heck?! First there was David Brooks at a speaking engagement referring to Gov. Palin's anti-intellectualism as a "fatal cancer" on the GOP, covered at HuffPo. He is absolutely effusive in his praise of Senator Obama, praising his intellect, saying he is "phenomenally good at surrounding himself with a team." Then his regular NYT column elaborates on how the anti-brainy attitude has hurt the Republicans, while backing off the deadly disease metaphor. Reading that, I actually learned something:

Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it’s 2-to-1.

Holy cow. Is this actually going to happen, people? Are we getting the White House?

I was feeling quite pessimistic about this. Monday I ventured downtown to Obama HQ, and they had me phonebank. I made 45 calls and actually spoke to about 30 people, all senior citizens, and it broke down almost evenly into thirds. One-third would not tell me who they were supporting. One-third had decided to support Obama. And one-third were undecided.

And I do not understand for the life of me how anyone could be undecided at this point. I've tried to think about things the way I imagine an older Southerner might, and I still don't get it. Voting for McCain makes much more sense to me than still being undecided this close to November.

And I'm scared that for generations of white Southerners it may come down to his race. It definitely did for one lady I talked to. Yeesh. I marked her as supporting "other."

Another lady said she "just didn't know," saying "they just came out with something today on public radio." That was the morning the Ayers attacks had begun, and I worried that they had started to stick.

But when I went down to vote early, it was also the last day to become registered, and at 5:00 the line flowed out the door and down the sidewalk.

I was freaked yesterday because, like a moron, I watched the "Sidewalk to Nowhere" video, of people waiting in line to see McCain at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. It was absolutely frightening. I can understand people being angry about the state of the world, I really can. What I can't understand is that in an age when there is plenty of information available, and numerous news outlets feature some kind of rumor-debunking capacity, why in hell would you base your vote on an email forward? Because it was clear from what people were yelling that they had gotten their facts via in-box. How did poorly formatted, thoroughly misspelled emails, complete with faked photos and the inevitable dozen animated flags, become a trusted source of political news? I see these things when I periodically clean out my grandma's Outlook, and it always raises my blood pressure. I'm frequently dismissive of my liberal arts background but I suppose it gets the credit for making me a skeptical, sophisticated media consumer. (That and $5 will get me a cappuccino, right?)

And then David Brooks comes out sounding like a scholar. I don't know what to think.

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