Politics, Perception, and a Poll

I am intrigued by how our perception of a person (and party/philosophy linked with them) can influence our interpretation of their words.  Consider the following quote:

“We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening.”

As would be expected, the person quoted has been attacked by the opposite political party.  However, the thought expressed is a two-edged sword.  I suspect the other party would say the same thing (albeit not openly) when the shoe  is on the other foot.  Much of their response is due to the popular perception of this politician.

Without a name (and thus baggage) attached to the quote, do you agree or disagree with this assessment of our current situation?   If you know who said this, please don’t give it away – let the statement stand on its own merit.  Is it accurate . . . or merely elitist?


6 thoughts on “Politics, Perception, and a Poll

  1. Methinks you are asking me to comment on a simple slogan. 🙂

    I think that American voters have always been uninformed. Even though I enjoy following politics I think that I am uninformed as well. The truth is that we seldom really know who we are voting for because candidates do not allow us to know them. They consistently duck difficult issues that might alienate voters. They choose to slam their opponents rather than present their own views.

    For over 20 years I have been praying this simple prayer during campaign seasons – Lord cause the candidates to act in such a way that voters might really know their hearts.

  2. In the words of Will Rogers, “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” I think this statement is true of most voters at least in some measure.

    What was interesting to me was when John Kerry made this statement, how quickly some conservatives were to accuse him of being elitist (easy target considering his past stereotype). Obviously both sides are going to say this when the other wins an election, and I think they are both correct. It just seems a little hypocritical to accuse Kerry of elitism. He may be arrogant, but this statement isn’t evidence.

  3. On one level the statement rings true. We have shown that numerous times in our history. However, I also think that the reaction is true on another level. It does sound a bit elitist to assume that the only reason the electorate disagrees with you is that they must be uninformed and easily swayed. It is possible that they are informed and just disagree with you. Perhaps, I am overhtinking it or taking it out of context.

    • Dave, I don’t think you’re overthinking it at all. You’ve drawn attention to the complexity of responding to such a statement. With this particular quote, if you factor in Kerry’s reputation it is even more complex.

      Which, of course, highlights the problem with “sound-bites” in general.

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