Saturday, November 06, 2004

Election results

(I originally wrote this on Wed, and am just getting around to finishing it now. I have some time waiting for this microscope to pump down, and nothing else to do right now.)

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

-- The White Queen, Alice in Wonderland

Unless Kerry gets a big proportion of the provisional ballots in Ohio, it looks like the election is going to Bush II. That's not entirely out of the question, because Gore got a huge fraction of them in the last election, but I'm not holding my breath. I also wouldn't be surprised if the Republicans sued to stop the vote-counting.

But how can so many people vote to reelect a man that has done so much damage to our country's reputation and honor? I think here is one clue:

  • 57% of Americans believe that before the war Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda before 9/11
  • 20% believe that Iraq was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks
  • 65% believe most experts say Iraq did have WMDs
  • 75% of those said they were going to vote for Bush (pre-election)

The only reason I can think of is cognitive dissonance. Basically, people don't *want* to believe Bush is a bad President, so they don't. I forget where I read it, but someone suggested that people voted their shame. If Bush is a bad President, then the Iraq war is a bad idea, and the deficit is going through the roof for no reason, and even the torture at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo keep us safe.

The problem with this sort of attitude is that it's hard to get through. Logical arguments won't work, because it's an emotional state of mind. The Democrats are going to need to get through somehow, though, or we're up for a long, hard ride.

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