Friday, October 17, 2008


CONFUSED BY A POLLING SYSTEM that more often than not gets it all wrong? Do you still remember that both Al Gore and John Kerry held substantial leads in the presidential polls of 2000 and 2004 just three weeks out from election day? Does the Bradley effect just make your skin crawl? Well, here's a POV that may just get infuriate you all that other puzzling stuff, but really is nothing more than a dumbed down rehash of the old "society of the spectacle" insights of French revolutionary philosopher Guy Debord.

Two campaigns are being waged right now for the presidency of the United States. No, I'm not talking about the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign. I'm talking about the real-world campaign and the meta-campaign.

The real-world campaign involves speeches and proposals and facts and scandals and political positions and news events. These details, however, are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and have become subsumed by the meta-campaign, which consists of perceptions, polls, reactions, analyses and summations. Until very recently, elections were decided by real-world facts—but not anymore. Facts and events in and of themselves are no longer important; what's important is how everyone reacts to them. And how do we find out the public's mood concerning this or that incident? Why, the media tells us, that's how.

Or so we've been led to believe.

Read it all.

In other news of the day, here is an article of real violence on the campaign trail, not the false kind recently exposed by the Secret Service.

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