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Chaka, When the Walls Fell.

Reagan at Neshoba. Some time ago, a blog post was authored at Mahablog which suggested that movement politics can best be understood when their rhetoric is viewed as a series of metaphors, with an allegory made to a spectacular episode of Stark Trek: The Next Generation featuring Paul Winfield titled "Darmok". Picard and crew stumble across an alien race that speaks only in metaphor. The alien captain, frustrated by the failure to communicate, transports Picard to the surface of a planet, where they must learn to communicate or die. The alien captain does finally reach Picard, but dies as a result of his injuries battling an invisible predator. By way of comparison, examine Candidate Ronald Reagan's speech at Neshoba [audio, 57MB, via, additional context here]. Some pundits are claiming that it is an example of the Southern Strategy codified as dog-whistle politics, whilst others view it as an honest mistake, and others still find an inconvenient long sequence of other "honest mistakes". [more inside]
posted by rzklkng on Nov 13, 2007 - 128 comments

 

Brotherly Love.

Unconventional Wisdom: Vote Local, Impact National? The City of Philadelphia often serves as a test-market for the introduction of goods and services, due to demographics that are sometimes representative of the country as a whole. Many of the usual tenets of political conventional wisdom have not held true in this election. A city still geographically divided by the artifacts of redlining did not have a campaign reflective of the population's breakdown by race (although the results map [PDF] implies a racial deliniation, with a largely-white Northeast Philadelphia preferring candidate Knox). The candidate with the largest war chest and most TV advertising did not win. Incumbents with various amounts of local name recognition (and even the support of a BIG NAME) could not garner a simple majority of the vote. Tremendous Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts by local labor and the party-machine proved fruitless. And save for some swiftboating and alleged dirty-tricks at the end, the campaign was fought cleanly. Given that, the recently completed Primary Election and Great Expectations for the Next Mayor of the City of Philadelphia may serve as an example of newly-evolving voter behavior, where a brainy policy-wonk is the people's choice versus the usual suspects.
posted by rzklkng on May 16, 2007 - 19 comments

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