Monday, December 22, 2008

Average Millionaires

One of the weirder aspects of our modern media culture is how millionaire elitist pundits have held on to the idea that they're still regular Joes with a real feel for the pulse of what regular people want.  Not only do they think they know what makes "Joe" tick, they truly enjoy scoffing at politicians who fail to obey their invented rules for what "Joe" wants; despite the fact that most politicians have a much better understanding of what real people want.

And this becomes clear when we look at Media Matter's top ten selections for Most Inane Punditry for 2008.  Because looking over the list, it's obvious that the biggest offense involves pundits speaking for the "Average Joe" and deciding that some normal activity that normal Americans do will somehow sink a politician and doom their campaign.  Of the top ten, six of these fit directly into that category, and the other four involve cases of pundits using dumbed down criteria to evaluate our presidential choices.

And so we learn from these elitist millionaires that Americans want a president who bowls, drinks coffee, and eats at Applebees.  And a president cannot visit Hawaii, drink orange juice, play pool, or tip too well.  But of course, as the results of this past election show us, American voters do not abide by such absurdist rules.  In fact, I suspect that there are exactly zero Americans who actually care about any of these things.  

These are just asinine rules created by elitist millionaires who have nothing better to do than imagine that there is a Joe Voter that they can mindread.  In their universe, Kerry lost because he windsurfs and Bush won because he clears brush on his vacations, just like real Americans do.  And rather than elections being decided by the effectiveness of a candidate's campaign, everything is reduced down to an absurdist morality play based on a candidate's hobbies and food preferences.  

But Kerry didn't lose a single vote because he windsurfed.  And while the stage prop ranch in Crawford surely helped Bush, it wasn't because voters identified with the guy for clearing brush (for the record, I've lived in Texas for almost three decades and have never cleared brush).  The only impact these things had was on our nimrods in the media.  It distracts them from telling people the truth about what the Republicans are really doing and that's all it's meant to do.  Democracy can survive orange juice drinkers.  It's these morons who obsess on such things who have to go.

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