October 12, 2004

keep it simple, stupid

These reviews of the Kerry - Bush debates are interesting. Partly because the conclusions they draw about the result are so different. Maybe I am missing something.

Furious George argues that Bush is coming across as angry - something contrary to his campaign strategy.

This article is less sensationalist, and argues that Bush came back strongly in the second debate.

I have no idea which is more accurate. I guess we'll find out when the polls close.

What did strike me was something which I noticed about Bush when I first heard him on National Radio - he sounds really, simply nice. Which is his greatest (personal) strength in my opinion. The reason I don't approve of his presidency is I think he oversimplifies things. But in retrospect, I think that is fundamentally what he is selling.

Americans are nice people (they certainly like to think of themselves that way) and it would appear that a large collection of them really want world affairs to be simple. They want to believe Bush, so that is the level of policy analysis they will get. I have a strong sad feeling that they will end up disappointed.

I've also been struck recently by the fact that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are both really smart people. Whether or not I agree with their conclusions about the world (let alone policy) I do feel that they have the intelligence to at least enquire fruitfully. And neither of them have the slightest natural charisma either. Very, very odd for politicians.

If the people of a democracy get the leadership they deserve, I'm curious about what that means for what we are.

Posted by carla at October 12, 2004 11:30 AM
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