Deferring Critical Judgment and Swing Voting

Posted on September 8, 2010 by


In order to explain my take of the concept of  deferring critical judgment for an emotional alternative allow to me to use the analogy of purchasing a new impracticle vehicle and the reasons for doing so.  Say for years we’ve been driving a very practicle mini-van.  While this bastion of reliability gives us 26 miles to the gallon,  totes 3 to 4 large luggage bags or the weeks grocery supplies and gets us to soccer game A or baseball game B we still long for a vehicle that turns heads at the traffic light in some other hopeful risky-business dream.  Emotionally the roar of a V-10 engine along with the cherry red façade of a nice new Ferrari seems to be the car of our dreams and easily  justify only two seats, decreased miles per gallon and the outrageous vehicle registration costs.  Our hope and expectation is that driving this car will be the expreience of a lifetime even if our decision is made based on our emotions at the time.  What happens if the car does not perform and becomes a drain or detriment to our pocketbook and sanity?  We would be severely disappointed and disenfranchised from everything that has to do with the word “Ferrari”.    Is this emotional path to a decision how we as voters are approaching our candidates for presidency?   We know Obama’s popularity is falling but did he inherit an impossible situation?   Are the ideals which turn our heads at the moment the basis for consideration of who best will serve the interest of the people in the executive branch  or are we flopping about hoping for the right candidate to have all the answers?  When he or she does not, God (or insert your deity of choice) help them.

Do we find ourselves swayed emotionally by the  propaganda of any perceptible change such as race or” New Era” politics?  Like in the car analogy is our disenfranchisement the direct result of emotionally voting on leadership without considering how they will fulfill our expectations?  All this disappointment from our president “not doing enough” or being passive, more moderate once in office.   The disenfranchisement  of the American populous  can  account  for the extreme swings away from the democratic party  in the expected political sweep by the GOP  for the house and senate elections of 2010.  Could this polarization of current American Politics create an atmosphere resulting in the emotional flip-flop voting of millions of voters and the subsequent inability to focus on the very serious issues in America?

Granted, Obama  walked into a fire storm .   He did not deregulate the savings and loan industry.  He did not provide tax cuts that decreased federal revenue but he did give the impression he had a plan  to eleviate all those problems to the American public and we believed him.  I did not personally believe him but I’m a bit of a skeptic or am I just realistic?

What if Obama was not the best practical candidate for the presidency in 2008 or was he destined to fail because of the impossible challenges he faced?  Was he  elected based on a purely emotional appeal for change for the sake of change to the desperate public?  We as voters must begin to take responsibility for informing ourselves  or we are destined to repeat the same patterns.  It could be said that Obama was ill-prepared for office.  He served  in the Illinois state legislature 1995 to 2004  and had served  about three years as U.S. Senator.   Obama admitted himeself that he might not be ready for the presidency in 2004 and then declared his intentions in 2006.

If one can equate the task of running our country to that of a global CEO the point can be made that he was not prepared to face the breadth and depth of challenges while concurrently promoting the change he promised to the country.  A global CEO is required to spend years learning each division of a company before he or she can be considered by the shareholders as a viable candidate to run the organization.  The CEO must ultimately know all the factors that could possible effect the company and must have a great understanding of the future vision while also running the day to day business that keeps the global (business) engine …running.  Did we as voters objectively question whether Obama had the experience and or inclination to run the mandatory business  of the day while promoting his agenda for change? He and his cabinet focused primarily on promising to change institutions but lacked the foresight to anticipate and negotiate the challenges they would face in doing so.  Obama put forth an ideology that the majority of Americans could support without a practicle plan or intention of critical action of that agenda. Case in point is Guantanamo Bay Detention center.  The president committed to closing the detention center to the American public but when faced with some of the realities of that action his administration has dropped the subject.

In the political commentary titled Obama and Guantanamo: A chronology of his broken promise

July 2, 2010 the following was said about the adminstration’s lack of follow through on it’s promise to close Guantonomo Bay Detention Center;

“Stymied by political opposition and focused on competing priorities, the Obama administration has sidelined

efforts to close the Guantanamo prison, making it unlikely that President Obama will fulfill his promise to close

it before his term ends in 2013…”…the administration is not putting a lot of energy behind their position that I

can see,” said Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat…”.

Conservatives may have put it differently to say that in light of new information the president and his cabinet considered the impracticality and the political consequences for closing Guantanamo Bay and as a result Obama could not keep his promise.   Does this reflect a lack of foresight,  great intentions with no follow-up or telling the American people what he felt they wanted to hear?  Either way  it is a promise broken resulting in disenfranchisement of the voting population and rightly so.

Another failure is Obama’s promise to get troops out of Iraq.  On September 1st, 2010 the following article is quoted to say;

“President Obama wants credit for keeping his promise to end the war in Iraq. Some credit is due: the President reaffirmed his commitment to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2010, as required by the agreement between the U.S. and Iraq. But only partial credit is due, because the war-ending task is very far from complete.  The Iraq war is not over. This is not a left-wing critique. The consensus account of mainstream U.S. print media is that the 50,000 U.S. troops who remain have been rebranded from “combat” brigades to “advise-and-assist” brigades”. The unfailingly pro-war Washington Post editorial board wrote yesterday:

Ok, perhaps we can agree that the American populous has a reason to be disappointed but do the liberals have  the right to be  disenfranchised enough to abandon their party?  The polls have recently shown that 51% of Americans want to see the house and senate change hands to put Obama in check.   These polls don’t just reflect fired-up republicans but they also reflect disenfranchised democrats.  Clearly the country is saying we have had enough.

Or were our expectations unrealistic?

In the previous video the excitement, hope and enthusiasm of the voters is contagious but where did that hopefullness go?

American citizens may be swinging strongly toward the GOP in the 2010 elections. What effect will this swing have on policy?  We’re already dealing with unemployment, the continued devaluation of the dollar, the current Debit crisis, our debt to China and the bailout of the savings and loan industry along with GM.  Did we chose to believe every claim Obama made with great expectation and fail to rally together when his promises could not be realized?  With disappointment comes disenfranchisement or the complete withdrawal of the very force that elected Obama.  The absence of democrats at the polls and party affiliates MIA indicate just how deep this wound penetrates our hope.

We all wanted to believe that race had been overcome,change was possible and America’s voice for a new era was somehow represented in  Obama and his cabinet but with great anticipation can come the greatest disappointment.   Our very ability to compete globally and to survive as a free market economy is being challenged and American voters are swinging from right to left on the political scale hoping that someone has the right answer.

Swinging back and forth between extremes of ideas and parties serves only to keep the public preoccupied with the issues of the day and their attention off threats to our way of life.  If the voters are too busy counteracting the last administration’s ideology are they really able to congregate and focus on public officials that have a more critically thought out view of the current situation we find ourselves in.   We may be deferring our use of critical-thinking voting for a more emotive-feeling voting.   A smoke screen is developing that allows our population to be manipulated by popular propaganda while not getting answers that consider us intelligent enough to understand.  Barrack Obama offered the emotional answers in New Era politics and it’s not working.  Give us a party line that will answer our questions with honesty and harsh reality.