I've said before that it seems as though liberals think conservatives must either be stupid or evil. George W. Bush is stupid, Dick Cheney is evil. At the moment, it looks as though the McCain-Palin ticket is being painted in the same terms. The Democrats have tried both labels for both candidates on the Republican side, but currently I see it settling in as McCain stupid, Palin evil. Early on the Democrats attempted to portray McCain as an insane warmonger who would lead us into some kind of nuclear holocaust, but accusing a war hero of evil was doomed to never really connect with the average voter. When Palin was first announced as McCain's running mate, the attack focused on how inexperienced she is, and therefore, she must be stupid.
However, in recent days, there seems to have been a shift, but I don't know how well that will work, either. McCain is so stupid he can't send email, we were told. Well, it appears that the Democrats making this attack are too stupid to use Google, because it's pretty easy to discover that due to his war wounds, McCain can't type. Classy. Likewise, Obama was never going to be able to sustain the idea that Palin is inexperienced without reminding everyone that serious questions have been raised about his experience. So the focus changed to the fact that Sarah Palin is evil. For instance, she's so evil that she wanted to ban books from the Wasilla library that hadn't even been published yet. I'm sure the stupid/evil dichotomy will continue to evolve and it should be amusing to watch.
It's the economy, stupid.
I think the economy is a good example to use to explain that Republicans really aren't stupid or evil. Economics is unquestionably a complex and difficult subject on which reasonable people can disagree. As an example, John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman could not have developed more divergent theories of economics; however, I don't think anyone could call either of these men stupid. I suppose people could call Friedman evil, but I think that misses the point. Whether or not one agrees with Friedman, his economic theories were designed to make everyone more prosperous, which is hardly evil. At the end of the day everyone, Left and Right, wants people to be better off economically, and that's neither stupid nor evil even if people have different ideas of how to get there. Why some have trouble believing that smart, well-informed people can come to different conclusions on the best way to solve problems continues to elude me, and something tells me this election season will do nothing to help me understand.
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