Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Who Are These Undecided Voters Anyway?

Arianna Huffington has a good point about the fruitlessness of trying to persuade so-called undecided voters. According to her, the Kerry campaign will become hung up on the details that supposedly affect the votes of the undecideds over its larger messages if it focuses too much on trying to prove one of the smear vehicles, say Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (aka Lies), wrong over everything else.

The Kerry campaign cannot allow it to devolve into a debate over whether John Kerry bled enough to warrant a Purple Heart.

And since no one can doubt that more scurrilous attacks are coming Kerry's way, it is imperative that in the future the right answers to all wrong questions are offered immediately and without, for one moment, relinquishing the Kerry campaign's attack on the president's failures at home and abroad or clouding its alternative moral vision of what America can be with George Bush safely back in Crawford.

Surely there have always been people who were unsure of who to vote for through the duration of the election, but I do find it curious that this constituency has received so much media attention in recent years. Rather than talk up this group of people, the media could (a) do a better job trying to inform the undecideds by focusing less on fiascoes such as the charges of Swift Boat Veterans for Lies and (2) report on substantive matters rather than on campaign style and strategy, in which the journalist or other media appendage finds it necessary to adapt a cynical tone to all things political. Thus we have programs a la cable news, which of course only feed the frenzy over voters who have not made up their minds.

Viva la revolution de l'undecided voter!

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