Wednesday, August 25


My brilliant nephew Auguamire (who holds a responsible position with the campaign of Kerry-Edwards'04, but I won't reveal what, since his side of the family is in the Republican slot and I love them a lot) responds to my recent post about politicking among family members:

I just wanted to make a few comments or notes here.

It seems to me that family members are always the toughest to speak with when it comes to politics. No matter what side you are on, even if you have no side. We are always caught with a dilemma in this situation. It is similar to evangelizing the lost, except tougher in some ways. We are attempting to have our family join our beliefs but without offending them in such a way that we damage our relationship with them.

If you hope to be successful in this endeavor (IMHO), all you can ever do, in either situation, is to present the information in an unbiased as possible form and then trade on your relationship (Stephen Covey would call this your "emotional bank account") in hopes that the other person will open up their mind long enough to see things from your perspective.

You may have heard that "all politics are local". And that is true. I would like to give you another saying that I believe to be true. All politics are emotional. Unless a candidate can appeal to your emotional belief, they have no shot of getting your vote. NONE. You may challenge me on this point (and as always I encourage this as long as it is not solely for the sake of argument), but I think that no matter what issue you choose, it all comes back to your emotion. How do I feel about millions of Americans losing their overtime pay? Sure I "think" it's wrong, but unless I "feel" that there is an injustice I will never be motivated to do something (such as getting out to the polls) about it.

Thus, logical arguments or statements only hold up to influence us emotionally. And I feel that this is where we miss the boat most of the time. We have to set up logical thought processes that lead to emotional responses or we will accomplish nothing in our bid to, as many religious people would say "show them the way."

I was a Bush fan in the last election. I have never voted for the Democratic ticket. I will vote for Kerry in this election. I can see only two reasons why people will vote for the incumbent. 1. Americans are not educated enough about what is happening in the current administration to have the necessary emotional response or 2. We don't want to take the time to learn (thus we believe - emotional - that President Bush is God's appointed man).

I want to leave you with this final thought about America today. In this post you noted an attitude stirring in this country "love it or leave it" that harkens back to the Vietnam era. I had hoped that we learned our lesson back then, and that my generation wouldn't make the same mistake. Alas, that is not the case. However, here is the thought from one of my Gator message board alums - If the founding fathers of our country were "politically correct”, to this very day, we would all be subjects of the British Crown.

UPDATE: "Gator" refers to the University of Florida; we're Seminoles (Florida State University). Even much-loved family members aren't perfect...


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