Sunday, April 17, 2005

Dean Goes Wild In Hollywood

Republicans should support Howard Dean - he's handing them the next election.

Powerline reports his recent speech:

"We're going to use Terri Schiavo later on"

"This is going to be an issue in 2006, and it's going to be an issue in 2008," Dean told about 200 people at a gay rights group's breakfast in West Hollywood, "because we're going to have an ad with a picture of Tom DeLay saying, 'Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?' "

He went on:

"and it's going to be an issue in South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico" etc etc.

That last bit was kidding. Seriously though, does Dean have a good strategy? On the face of it the answer is "yes" -some polls had 70% of Americans favoring the killing & only 30% not.

To see what's likely to happen., we need to get inside people's motivations.

The majority of people - that 70% - are healthy and don't know any disabled or dying people. They have plenty of urgent problems to deal with - education, work, money, kids. So they look away from death and suffering, not just in the US, but everywhere - Darfur, China, Tibet, Iraq.

But looking away is a survival strategy, not a core belief. A Dem platform advocating that adulterers can subject disabled spouses to a prolonged death will cause this group to yawn and look away. They'll vote on other factors - the economy, education, WoT etc.

On the other hand, the 30% minority opposing the killing were thinking of their own conditions or those of their loved ones. See for example this Californian woman on her father's rotten treatment by the Brit National Health Service.

There is a line in the world that separates those who have never suffered ill-health or physical handicaps and those who struggle with illness or who face mortality. The healthy look away, but those on the other side are all around us - behind curtains, in hospitals and institutions, and in the street. We have been there, we are going there, and we will be there at the end.

So, assume that the 30% of folks who inhabit this world split 50/50 Republican/Democrat at the last election - that's 15% Democratic voters. Since Dean's platform threatens them or their loved ones with painful death, many will vote against the Dems - say 50% of the Dem 15% switches.

That's a 7.5% swing to the GOP. Game Over.