Saw most of the debate last night, but gave up on it after a while. I felt like I was just sort of cheering for the side I’d already chosen. One thing I’ve noticed this election cycle is a difference I perceive in the way the different parties seem to be voting. To wit: it seems to me that people who are supporting the Barack Obama/Joe Biden ticket are doing so because they truly believe in it, while people who are supporting the John McCain/Sarah Palin ticket are doing so because they truly believe against its opposite.
Which is to say: it seems to me that the entire election, no matter how people are voting, is being determined by Barack Obama. Either people really like him and believe he can do the job well, or people really dislike him and don’t believe he can do it and so want to keep him from office at all costs.
I read a bit of the debate coverage. I was surprised it recorded higher viewership than the actual presidential debate. One of the reasons I’m rather indifferent here is that, well, No Contest 2008 is a presidential election. Too many people are forgetting that.
But really, I want to talk about language.
I thought Biden was calm, self-assured, and rather articulate. He seemed to speak well.
But what is it, exactly, that seems to prevent all conservative, Christian Republicans from being able to pronounce words like “nuclear”? How can you correctly pronounce the name of Ahmadinejad but then say that Iran is pursuing nukular technology? And what is it about “bet you” versus “betcha.” I’ve heard people refer to it as ‘folksy charm,’ but that just makes me wonder:
Are folks linguistically retarded?
It’s the only explanation I can think of.
And can I just say: is there anything more condescending than this whole “Main Street” versus “Wall Street” thing? I get that it’s a comment on investment banking and the financial market, and I’m not saying I fully understand either (then again, I think few people understand either, and that includes the people dealing in both, which is probably a big part of the reason for the current state of the economy), but it seems both divisive and willfully ignorant. It seems to me to kind of say: “Oh, is that that thar, like, paper money and such? Me and the missus don’t give that much thought. We’re simple folks, me and the missus. We go to our church and pray to keep things simple. The people in the schools and all that book-learnin’… we don’t much abide by all that. We only need the one book, me and the missus. We heard people invest money in stuff like stocks and bonds, but we don’t understand that. The missus just keeps a stash in her underwear drawer, and that’s always served us well enough. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go milk a cow.”
You’d think that given the four different colleges and universities Palin attended (all as an undergraduate, mind you), and given the fact that she spent five years earning a degree in communication and journalism (“Lots of people go to school for seven years.” “Yeah. They’re called doctors.”), she’d be able to pronounce a word like “nuclear.”
Here’s another question: if Barack Obama got on stage and used words like “betcha,” “gotcha,” “ain’t,” and “nucular,” would people wink and nudge and say he’s all folksy or would they question his education, and how he managed to get into law school? I’d bet dollars to donuts someone would mention the words “affirmative action” in the same sentence as “president.”