Right-wing rhetorician tells us why Bush is too stupid to lose
Today in my rhetoric class, the one with the defaced textbook, we discussed a dude named Richard Weaver. His basic philosophy can be broken down thus:
1) Facts are useless without emotions
2) Tolerance is wrong and that everyone must assimilate into the established society
3) Political extremism, on either end, are the only places to find principled thought
4) However, only conservatives remain consistent in their principles
5) The public can be led to believe anything through effective rhetoric (e.g., that a rich-guy politican is a cowboy by putting on a hat and affecting a twang)
6) Television, journalists and public schools all suck
Weaver would have LOOOOOOVED George W. Bush.
One particular notion of Weaver's that stands out is his philosophy regarding leadership. As noted in point one, he believes that cold, hard facts must be balanced out by human emotions in order to register with the people. He calls leaders who are able to do this (no joke) lovers!
Lovers, Weaver says, are people who know good from evil and can excite the mind, heart and soul. Our class presenter explained it best by using the presidential analogy; he looked at recent presidential candidacies and applied Weaver's theory (and don't forget, "lover" in this case means "tough guy" or "suave speaker," not what they do in the Lincoln Bedroom):
1976--Ford vs. Carter--both wimps (edge: Carter; people pissed off at GOP)
1980--Carter vs. Reagan--wimp vs. lover (edge: Reagan; charming)
1984--Reagan vs. Mondale--lover vs. wimp (landslide: Reagan again)
1988--Bush vs. Dukakis--both wimps (edge: Bush, went berserk in debates)
1992--Bush vs. Clinton--wimp vs. lover in every sense of word (edge: Clinton, the consummate charmer)
1996--Clinton vs. Dole--lover vs. hater (edge: Clinton, the non-Dole)
2000--Gore vs. Bush--fact machine vs. Weaver's perfect lover (edge: debatable)
2004--Bush vs. Kerry--Mr. Passion vs. fact machine (edge: oh shit...)
Weaver has been a dead right-wing nutjob for 41 years, but that doesn't mean he hasn't plugged into the pulse of the American voting public: that the general public is less interested in having a smart leader than having one who can charm us into being scared and whip us into a passionate fury. In other words, a charmer with a mean streak. Timeless wisdom.
God, were idiots.