So with this being my first post online, as opposed to my emailing thoughts in a random non-congruent pattern that I expect people to follow, I am going to organize my analysis for this blog and create a static yet living entry for those interested to follow. And today as a bonus to anyone willing to read this, I am going to go double on the topics. From my viewpoint, both work together as a couple to help establish the current political weather. The topics are: Part 1 - Voter Tonality, Part 2 Rep Paul Ryan as a VP pick - Thumbs Up or Down?
It's not a common phrase, a quick Google search shows no results. It should be. Let's look at the Merriam Webster definition of "tonality" - "the organization of all the tones and harmonies of a piece of music in relation to a tonic." So now that we have established a basic understanding of Voter Tonality, it's time to move onto WHY does the voter tonality matter. A common response I've received is, "that doesn't matter we have polls!". Speaking as someone who loves and adores polling, that response couldn't be more wrong. Numbers don't lie, but the people collecting them, correlating them, and explaining them do... Often and egregiously. Many times they are often lying to themselves. I've done it myself. You sit down, write the poll and do not realize that you have a bias in it. It could be that your science is bad, it could be a subliminal influence, regardless, it does not matter what caused the tilt, only that it is there. More importantly, numbers can be impossible to understand unless used contextually. This February in Superbowl XLVI during the first half Tom Brady completed 14 passes in a row breaking Joe Montana's record that had stood since 1990. He threw for 2 touchdowns and Eli Manning, the opposing QB, only threw for one. However, the Patriots lost by three points. 50% off sounds great, but what was the mark up? If Melania Trump is happy about 50% off her Hermes handbag that was originally $15,000, would you think it was a good deal? Most directly to this topic, in 1992 Bill Clinton only received 43.01% of the popular vote. He must have lost right? Of course you know the answer is no. He picked up 370 electoral votes, a surplus in the world of Presidential campaigns. Here's a bonus for you, the common myth is that 2008 was the highest turnout ever for a Presidential election and therefore a historic one. Wrong. It was the largest meaning the most people, but the highest was 1960 Nixon vs. Kennedy with 62.77% of the voting age population turning out. That is more than 5% over 2008. So to come full circle on this thought, context matters and tonality (voter mood, movement and message planning) is a part the contextual framework.
Nobody is discussing the framework. It is all being treated with the cold numbers from a polling house and to make matters worse, these polls are being treated as stand alone and completely accurate. They are not either of those. To understand what flesh and blood real life human beings will do you must at the least know in what tone they are communicating. On a social commentary note, this in my opinion is what is so wrong about so many things. How polls are analyzed, how campaigns are run, how people are treated and many other issues. It is very clear that certain people view the voters as nothing more than a simple input to further what they want. Respect and humanize the voters, and they will return the favor. Hey would you look at that, what a good lead into....
Rep Paul Ryan as a VP pick - Thumbs Up or Down?
Forget what you are hearing on all the news channels and most of the radio talk shows. Paul Ryan was not a risky pick, he was the best pick in a very, very long time. Most political pundits have a penchant for citing history and being myopic on current situation awareness. They love to talk about 1980, 1960, 19XX and pretend like it is some kind of a determinate for right now. It's a baseline, nothing more. Correlation is not relation. They are stuck in the news of the moment while looking back fondly at something that happened in a year they liked, or something that they liked that happened in a year they know of. This is a bad position to be in. It's also why the attacks, that are completely unfounded, have started.
Staying away from the politics of Paul Ryan, I'll follow up on that shortly, it is very clear that he is a brilliant guy, but people are already attacking his intelligence. This morning on the way into work while listening to The Stephanie Miller Show, they made a comment about Paul Ryan being seen doing P90X in a Denver Hotel. The following comment was: "Oh zero percent body fat, zero percent intelligence." This wasn't tongue in cheek, they were saying that Ryan is not a smart guy. Erskine Bowles the former Chief Of Staff for Bill Clinton disagrees, and the main criticism of Ryan is that he is too much of a policy wonk. I'll get to the point, they don't have anything good to use against the guy. They are so empty on ammunition (and on their own policies) that they are attacking him at the worst place possible. They speak in generalities, he is speaking specifics. They are using emotions, he's using logic (big plus in my book).
He uses logic, but he also emotionally addresses the issue while speaking in a matching tone to the constituents he's addressing. I can't tell yet if it's strategic or organic, but my guess is organic since no one else thinks like me. If it is organic, that is even more compelling because voters that aren't already blind or haven't already made a decision for one reason or another (I'll get to them in another post), can tell, and that sways them.
The bottom line, Ryan has won election and re-election for 14 years in a row in a very, very blue district. That is not a fluke. Obama carried his district in 08 with about 57%, Ryan took 66%. He has a knack for explaining thins in a real world way that voters identify with.
Earlier I said that we should all stay away from his politics for now. What I mean by that is, everything is fluid, the policy marriage between Romney's plan and his plan is still coming together. Give it until the night of August 30th when the convention is done. By then they will (or IMO should) have it fleshed out, and then we can start to talk about it. Sure it will look very similar to the current two plans, but it could have crucial differences as well. Romney is known for taking action, and Ryan is known for having plans. Right now all of this is coming together very nicely for the GOP ticket.
In sum, and in honor of a classic movie's 40th anniversary, the Obama/Biden ticket is "going to need a bigger vote."