Popularity is

Posted: August 3, 2009 in News and politics

I won’t reveal the name of the book because it would distract from the substance I am about to relate. I will say the author is Thomas Moore; not the Saint Thomas Moore of course; he’s been dead for some time now and the author of the book is still alive and kicking. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I will tell you what little nugget Mr. Moore stated that is so relevant to the phenomenon of our President’s slipping popularity. The nugget is this: many people want to appear smart and sophisticated by having a negative approach to issues. If we aren’t prepared to reject this negativism we become influenced by it[1]. So it is that many respondents to the President’s popularity polls feel smarter than the next guy by proclaiming that he/she has discovered, in the words of the heading of a Slate on-line article about the President’s slipping popularity, “We’ve Found Out He’s Not Superman”.

Way back during the last presidential election cycle I quit reading Slate because of a particularly inane article about Hillary’s laugh. It included an audio clip; and if you listened to it I believe you would find it… just a laugh. It certainly was not a “cackle” as the article tried to promote. I was not supporting Hillary; but I abhorred this kind of shallow political coverage.

I have been tempted to read an article or two from time to time. Hey no magazine can be all bad – with the possible exception of the “Limbaugh Newsletter”. I actually should try to read another article in it. I became biased against it, as well as Slate, because of one article. Well, now it’s two in Slate. So, I read the article; and it did not support the headline. The headline was a quote from one person; so what do you have? You have the opinion of exactly one person.

What’s remarkable about the article is the consensus of the target group that was being interviewed and written about was articulated as a response to the question “What would you tell the President?” The answer, “Keep up the good work…” and to be strong and don’t give up; we aren’t (giving up). So, this article is about the President’s slipping poll figures? … things that make you go “Hmmm”.


[1] It was that negative attitude that was the main reason I got out of the Navy after 11 years and 10 months.

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