Said it better than I could have…

Francisco, a friend from Reed, has been covering Venezuela’s political scene for years now. In his latest blog entry, he eloquently articulates a phenomenon I’ve been trying to articulate for years, what he calls “primal identification.”

Basically, voters routinely vote against their own best interest, against the clear, intelligent choice, over the candidate with whom they most want to have a beer or attend a barbeque. (or sancocho, the Venezuelan equivalent).

This is really depressing, but it does explain why, as Francisco says, “a barely literate recovering alcoholic and failed oil-man could beat two of the smartest, best prepared democratic pols in a generation.”

But by this theory, there should be hope for Deval Patrick and Kinky Friedman, unless voters’ primal racism and anti-Semitism winds up trumping their primal identification. Because I can’t think of two recent political candidates in history with whom I’d rather have a beer.

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~ by realsupergirl on July 28, 2006.

12 Responses to “Said it better than I could have…”

  1. You confuse the United States with a Democracy, there is no vote here.

  2. Thanks, Dave. Now I’m more depressed.

  3. Sorry! Venezuela’s still pretty cool though yes?

    How do you think I feel, I actually worked for campaign groups around the country the last few years, what was the point?

  4. Yes, we all know that this is the only reason Bush ever got in.

  5. Isn’t that just about the most depressing thing you could ever say about your political system? That the people who have the power to vote can’t actually make an educated decision? Doesn’t that undermine the entire concept of democracy?

  6. I don’t want to say these people can’t ever make educated decisions. And actually, the “I want to have a beer with them” method probably works well in local politics. The concept of democracy, as I see it, is people choosing what they feel good with. In this case, it’s what we’d call uneducated decision making, but hey, people nowadays have spent most of their life in front of the TV, and make a lot of consumer decisions based on what they learn from TV. Why not make this decision the same way? The closest a lot of people ever come to these candidates is watching the debates during election time. “Oh, he’s cool and seems friendly and I feel like I can relate to him. I’ll vote for him.”

  7. this is ‘s theory of “voting to join the club”- people vote for who they see as the “popular kids” ’cause then they’ll be accepted.

  8. Ugh!

    Funny, but depressing.

  9. So was he talking about Venezuela, or the US?

    “…smartest, best prepared democratic pols in a generation.”

    Oh, I see. Venezuela.

  10. Whoops — switched browsers, forgot I wasn’t logged in.

  11. I take it this is sarcasm?
    His article was talking about both Venezuela and the U.S. but I would agree with his assertion that Gore and Kerry are two of the smartest, best prepared candidates we’ve ever had. Unfortunately, neither of them had that good old boy charm and charisma that Clinton had…and apparently, that people think Bush has.

  12. So basically, national elections are just like a highschool ASB election… which means, unfortunately, the people you want to have beers with are not the people the rest of our brain dead country would even want to talk to….Sorry Eve, I’d be there with you for the beers. Hell, I would never want to have a beer with Bush: boring-over priveledged-ass hole.

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