Monday, February 11, 2008

Are RAMS really Nice Guys (tm)?

While avoiding my job today--yesterday's job was sewing the skin back on my youngest daughter's doll after she degloved her in an attempt to fix the condition known as "wobbly neck"--I have been bouncing around the internet looking at stuff and I came across two different items that need to be read together. The first, and I want to do this right because I don't really grasp the netiquette of quoting quotes of quotes--is from this fascinating post by Thers at Whiskey Fire, and he seems to have picked up on it from Unqualified Offerings . So Hat Tip to both of you (that makes it legal, doesn't it?) Second is a short but intruiging diary over at Kos that, for once, isn't a my candidate rewls and your's drewels piece of bloviation. They are both about who voters really are--or rather who the undecideds really are, and apparently they are pretty solipsistic bastards.

First, here's the quote from the original article from some dead tree newspaper: its about a hypothetical desirable voter out there. Now that the "soccer moms" and the "security moms" are gone to Hillary, every one, and the "angry white guy" is simply slightly pissed and bewildered I guess we were suffering from a lack of new stupid voter categories (LONSVC) so some boob came up with this new name (so Irony free that piles of irony were left on the shore when they harvested it).

"So who are these angry voters? I call them "restless and anxious moderates," or RAMs. Most come from the third of the electorate that identifies itself as independent, but some Democrats and Republicans have also joined this new bloc. These voters tend to be practical, non-ideological and unabashedly results-oriented -- people such as Gary Butler, 60, who lives in Show Low, Ariz. Both parties, he says, "are way too far apart, and nobody is looking out for the good of the people."

"Address my life and the problems I face in my terms," another RAM told me. "Cut political rhetoric, cut political fighting, cut the game-playing, stop the five-point programs; just address my issues in a real-world, straightforward way."

Meanwhile, over at DailyKos at the kind of diary that used to keep people reading, Drooghie 6655 and a bunch of other numbers explores what a more typical, actual voter thinks in his diary "How to Sell my Conservative Leaning Brother on a Democratic Candidate." Drooghie describes his brother as saying this to him

"I'm just sick of watching all of the primary coverage without having anyone to root for. I am really not excited about any of the candidates. All that I want is someone of any gender, race, or religion who can safely and responsibly get us out of Iraq, shrink the size of government rather than expand it, keep spending down, get tax cuts for people of all economic classes, seal up the border in the interest of national security (while making it easier to become a citizen), and make health care more affordable without socializing it."

What's the difference between Drooghie's brother and the RAMS? I'm not sure I can tell. Both of them seem to believe that voting for a candidate should be a personal pleasure and to the extent it isn't, its the candidates fault and not the voters. Both seem to think that their issues are the only ones that should matter, and that their interests are the only ones that should be addressed. And that's true despite history, economy, logic, law and hell, for all I can see, gravity.

AT this point in my meanderings I'm starting to get a funny feeling, like I've seen this pattern before. And then I realize what it is. The media's ideal voter, that mid range, mid price, middle brow, middle of the country guy in some bizarre cross between a wife beater and a hair shirt is the voting equivalent of the infamous "Nice Guy (tm) so thoroughly gutted and pickled over at Amanda' s Pandagon. He's a guy (or he could be a girl but I can't get into the problem of sexing the voter right now) who thinks that he's the sum and substance of normality and niceness. If the other voters or candidates only knew they'd totally appreciate him. The election is a chance for the candidate (and the party) to validate the voter and his ideals, dreams, wants, and identity. The candidate is his ultimate *date* and when the candidate doesn't use his or her time to romance the RAM, to find out what he really wants, and to supply it...well...the RAM just can't see voting for that candidate. Also, the RAM thinks that candidates are always going out with hotter babes, or babes who treat him badly, while the RAM would so totally support the candidate of his dreams if given half a chance.

Anything we can do to either get this voter to vote the way we want or to utterly discredit and defenestrate him?