Thursday, February 11, 2016

Primary Screams

Know what is very funny?  The personality changes which happen in some of the most avid supporters  during the US Democratic presidential primaries.

I recall the same phenomenon from 2008: 

Suddenly usually thoughtful people who enjoy debating stuff become intolerant of anyone who is not of the body.  Suddenly, only evidence tilting one way is packed into the debating bags.  Suddenly, previously politically agnostic individuals develop that red-hot religious fervor, that intolerance to anyone thinking differently or even suggesting nuances or complications in the tale of the Hero's Ascension.  Disagreement becomes impossible, because it is interpreted as proof that one is not of the body, as proof that one is (gasp!) the enemy.

So does any of that matter?   After all, it's just people advocating for their chosen candidate.

I believe it does, because non-stop advocacy introduces bias into the conversations and because advocacy makes planning for the general elections and the possible responses from the Republicans that much harder. 

For an advocate the goal is that missionary one: to convert others. For an "analyst"* the goal is to understand both the positives and negatives of the candidates and to try to predict what might happen in the general elections.  The latter includes being prepared for the potential Republican attacks.  Advocacy hinders that preparation.
*An "analyst" here is not some objective entity, of course, but someone who would prefer a Democratic victory in November.  I couldn't come up with a better term.