Tuesday, January 18, 2005

RED SEA, BLUE REPORTER

The Washington Post has an interesting article that makes an attempt to understand why Bush won the election (duh).

I find it humorous that he (the reporter) finds "ordinary people" to be newsworthy. The questions he asks elicit responses you would expect from someone who lives in rural America. He reports what they say and seems surprised by a lot of it. But then he says:

I suppose there are no great surprises there -- these views represent many of the strands that have been collected over the past generation into the political camp we call "conservative." But the focus on this common label may obscure the individual nature of these voting decisions. I met regular churchgoers and people who attend church seldom if ever. I met young libertarians and elderly prims. I met a wealthy man and a man unemployed and deeply in debt. I met people who admire Bush and people who have little regard for him.

I imagine this might disappoint those people who seek a large and unified explanation of something as important as a presidential election. How much more satisfying it is -- especially for those who make a living from explaining elections in catchy sound bites -- to conjure up overarching themes, towering trends, looming like alps over an election. Nothing sells like a big trend story, whether the trend is "right-wing backlash" or "values revival."

So what is he saying? I'm not sure he knows.

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