Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stop Us If You've Heard This Before...

We often devote coverage to topics in our commentary repeatedly, because, unfortunately, American politics often circle around themselves repeatedly, like bad ideas orbiting the bottom of the intellectual toilet bowl. Part of the problem is a clearly understood, if not sad, fact. That fact is that modern Americans, with their nearly unlimited access to information, often choose to be incredibly ill-informed, and often act not very bright.

Political media consultants have preyed upon this weakness for some time, now. These consultants know what has been statistically proven many times, that people often don't retain information unless it's presented to them multiple times. Unfortunately, that means that those of us who continue to promote intelligent and well-informed discussion also have to repeat the truth over and over if our message is going to cancel out their misinformation.

What this adds up to, in America, is that it takes an ever-growing amount of time and money to get through to Americans.

We won't even discuss the fact that most Americans have no idea of the political shifts occurring in countries like Cuba, France, or China. We're well aware of the fact that the majority of Americans have problems looking beyond our own borders.

Still, you might think Americans would be familiar with the Tea Party, the group that's been roiling the American political atmosphere for quite a while, now. We've seen a year of rowdy demonstrations, verbal (and sometimes worse) attacks on generally anyone who might disagree with them, multiple major public events, and seemingly ceaseless media coverage of the Tea Party phenomenon. With that kind of attention, it would seem by now that the various and different sub-groups that make up the Tea Party should have caught the attention of the American public.

Yet, according to the most recent CBS/New York Times poll, nearly half of American voters have no real opinion of the Tea Party movement.

While close to half of self-idenitfied Republicans have a positive opinion of the Tea Party, among independent voters - currently the largest segment of the American electorate - the voters who will be deciding the outcomes of elections in the United States this fall, the opinion of the Tea Party is negative by nearly 2-to-1.

We won't say that the Tea Party is irrelevant, because we don't believe they are. It's obvious, however, by the lack of attention and thought the generic American electorate has given the Tea Party, that they don't agree with us.

If we were to give any advice to the Tea Partiers out there - not that we think they'd listen to any of us - we'd tell them that the key to winning independent voters is what we've mentioned this entire week. What the larger American electorate already knows, no matter who wins this fall, is that broad appeal - and the ability to find compromise - is the only thing that will move us all forward, no matter where we stand politically. As we said, we're hopeful that SOMEONE listens to our advice, but well... you know.

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