Obama/Biden Taps Glinda
Besides, the media likes to harp on "the worst economy since the Great Depression." What more could I possibly add to hype like that? Especially when half of the talking heads were five years old during the 1987 market correction?
Of course, what those talking heads are experienced in, all they've ever known, is what the rest of us like to call the Culture of Fear. This is why they continue to "report" every news story as if it were the next Black Death. They simply don't know any better. I've written quite a bit in this blog about the Culture of Fear. For those of you who aren't familiar with its effect, it's the reason why people switched from marketing their goods with "Be the first on your block" to "Don't let is happen to you!"
Living in fear is an awful thing. You're afraid of eating the wrong thing. Saying the wrong thing. Doing the wrong thing. In a fearful environment, terrorists are always just around the corner. The other driver is never careful. And politicians aren't who or what they seem to be.
This is why negative campaigning has, until recently, been so effective in politics. It's a whole lot easier to cast suspicion on the other guy than it is to work hard on being a better alternative to that guy. I suppose negative tactics work to an extent. After all, nose-diving jetliners into American real estate is enough to add credibility to just about any perceived threat. But decades of xenophobic fear-mongering does take its toll. Which is the secret to Barack Obama's latest brand surge.
If you look carefully, Obama and Biden have chosen their tactics quite judiciously. The closest they ever get to disparaging McCain and Palin is by associating them with Bush and Cheney. And even then, they don't bring out the warning lights. They simply let the truth speak for itself: "If you actually like where Bush and Cheney have brought you, they maintain, you're going to love McCain and Palin." Other than that, neither Obama nor Biden have done anything to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. In fact, they've striven to do just the opposite.
Just as Glinda the Good Witch reassures the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, Obama and Biden have replaced the fear factor with reassurance, positioning themselves as the messengers of good news:
Come out, come out, wherever you are,
and meet the young lady, who fell from a star.
She fell from the sky, she fell very far
and Kansas, she says, is the name of the star.
She brings you good news.
Or haven't you heard?
When she fell out of Kansas
A miracle occurred.
Okay, so Glinda was off by one state. But by enlisting the perspective of Glinda, Obama and Biden become the harbingers of the best news possible: At last, we have someone in control who can solve our problems. The accusations and finger-pointing to which the American public has become numb is being displaced by two guys who are actually offering up answers and suggesting positive solutions. It almost doesn't matter if their solutions don't work. The fact that they're not fear-based is new, fresh and something for which the voting public has been aching.
And, unfortunately, something of which neither John McCain nor Sarah Palin seem to be aware.