Friday, October 13, 2006

Image, Identity, Democracy

Political coalitions in this country are not built around unifying Big Ideas, at least not anymore, nor even around the positive appeal of this or that policy. The coalitions are focused on a number of specific proposals, none of which can be too bizarre or ridiculous to significantly alienate a large bloc of potential voters. Voters approve of a coalition because it contains fewer objectionable items on its agenda and fewer provocative or offensive symbols. This is why the mushy politics of the center keeps prevailing, because the margin of victory typically keeps coming from those people whose attraction to one party or another is not motivated by that party's positive appeal but by the obnoxious things it doesn't say.
-Daniel Larison

No comments: