Soccer Moms Gone Wild: The Masses Are Asses...But They Will Decide if Obama Remains President
Ultimately, those of us who follow political blogs, listen to NPR, religiously watch the news, and think of citizenship as an obligation based upon a critical engagement with the issues and empirical reality are outliers. Politics for the mass public is less about substantive matters of policy than about surface impressions regarding the heart and the pocketbook. And these impressions may very well be incorrect.
For the White Right, and closeted colorblind racist Independents, Obama is increasingly losing on all of those issues. His election in 2008 was the cathartic moment that allowed racism deniers to find peace with the world and themselves; Obama's defeat in 2012 will be a chance to right the world, get revenge on those "uppity" Negroes, and to fire the black or brown boss at their job--who they resent and cannot stand--on a national stage.
Some of you will continue to suggest that my argument is incorrect, and that I have reached an erroneous conclusion. The data and metrics of great analysts like Nate Silver are to be applauded. The raw numbers and data do speak for themselves and suggest that Obama has a better than average chance of winning reelection.
However, I am considering the symbolic politics at play here: the weight of American history wants to revert to the norm (she is a country by design that is a White Republic); Barack Obama is an anomaly; the President is subject to a set of double-standards that are fundamentally unfair in a game where he cannot fully claim his successes, and his opposition can engage in all manner of skulduggery to defeat him without consequences.
The United States was able to dance around the color line and elect a black man as President in 2008. I remain unconvinced if he will be reelected to a second term. Retrospective assessments about a black president's performance in office are going to be fundamentally skewed against him in ways that a white president has never experienced. Such is life in "post racial" America.
The Atlantic's story about the role of "soccer moms" in the 2012 presidential race fits this framework perfectly. They don't know what they know, but they know it...riddle you that one? The women in this narrative are the ideal typical non-ideological, easily confused, not consistent--and as I like to say "the masses are asses"--voters. But, these are the real people, the median voters, who will decide this upcoming election (and most others).
As the truism goes, democracy is the worst form of government except for all of the others. People like Dee Ralls, and the other women in the Atlantic piece "The Revenge of the Soccer Moms", are further proof of said truth.
Apparently, she is still going to vote for Obama despite her misgivings. But, what of all of the other people who are not? And if a low information voter like Dee Ralls, a person whose contradictory and inconsistent views are straight out of a textbook on American politics, can be swayed by her "smart boyfriend" to vote for Obama, how many other voters are going to be pushed the opposite way by "influentials" and other close associates?
Are matters really that dire? Or am I being too hard on the low information, the masses are asses voters, who collectively are going to hand the election to Mitt Romey?