As politic discourse was supplanted with one-liner “talking points”, what passes for political argument became a tedious repetition of linguistic devices designed to frame the argument in order to forestall real political discussion.
When in 2004 Republican pundits created the “swift boat” linguistic device and John Kerry fell for it, a great deal of his campaign got trapped in a tedious retelling of the same story trying to set the score right.
Barack Obama seems to have managed yesterday to re-frame the linguistics of the Republican campaign and to elevate political discourse, once again, to the exchange of ideas among free people. Judging by the linguistic boom box of the Republican Party, Fox News, reaction to the conclusion of the DNC, they seem to be limited to the “lack of experience” linguistic device.
Some Democrats made attempts to answer to the “lack of experience” argument comparing Obama’s experience so far to that of Abraham Lincoln and JFK when they took office. I will only mention by passing that both those presidents were assassinated, and that maybe Democrats should try to dig out some other, less ominous names. However, I think that elevating an empty linguistic device to the level of an argument is the wrong way to go.
The “lack of experience” linguistic device, albeit a weak one, may deserve a deeper deconstruction (which I will not attempt here). However, recognizing it for what it is should help to defuse the ensuing argument.
The Republicans should be more worried with the lack of integrity of their candidate than the Democrats with the lack of experience of theirs. Indeed, McCain has shown that he will say anything to win this election.
Desperate for votes, he has betrayed most of the positions that made him a unique an interesting candidate.
Although he started his campaign in the high road of raising the level of the political discourse, he soon lowered himself to the antidemocratic tradition of impeding the profound discussion of issue about the free people of America.
You see, in a democracy, you discuss ideas and you are not afraid of the conclusions. In tyrannies, you try to eliminate those with different ideas.
I share with many independents and Republicans their concerns about Obama’s track record. However, I am more concerned about the fast deterioration of the Republican candidate and his descend to the dark world of Karl Rove politics.
However, I am certainly more worried about McCain’s show of dishonesty when he started campaigning against his own Senate record. What policies, I wonder, is McCain going to impose if elected to office? The once he’s is promising now, or those he voted for in Congress?
McCain won the primaries on the basis of his congressional track record, and today he is campaigning against it. Had you known he was going to betray himself like this, would you have voted for him during the primaries?
If you vote this election for McCain the candidate, you will have to ignore McCain the Senator. However, McCain the Senator is the one with experience, McCain the candidate is a yet another spineless politician going against his principles to gain the office of president of the United States.
Franklin @ August 29, 2008