Yesterday I was talking to some McCain supporters about how they arrived at their preference. We don't see many McCain supporters in my neighborhood, so I always take time to hear their views. Admittedly my sample is not large, but of the dozen or so McCain supporters I have spoken with, there is a common thread: Obama gives them a vague feeling of discomfort that they can't quite identify.

When I ask about this vague feeling of discomfort, the answer has something to do with how his views got formed, his past associations, how quickly he rose to prominence, and how charismatic (slick) he is.

The risk, as I understand it, is that once in office Obama would start sporting a turban and begin each speech with WAHLALALALALALAL!!!! He would appoint Supreme Court justices who favor a redistribution of wealth to unborn gay babies, and he'd legalize crack. It would all be part of his master plan to destroy America. I might have the details wrong, but it goes something like that.

It's hard to argue against someone's vague feeling of discomfort. After all, studies have shown that people are actually quite good at determining character and intelligence from nothing more than photographs. I just found it interesting that the people I spoke with described a vague feeling of discomfort in forming their preference. That is not something I ever heard in other elections.
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Oct 31, 2008
I would argue that people who voted against Bush in 2004 weren't doing it because of a "vague feeling of discomfort." There's nothing vague about having your guts pulled out!

And about "Obama scares the crap out of me," check out this great daily show clip of the rallying of fear by both campaigns:

Oct 31, 2008
Scott, you make a big jump there assuming some radical change in posture when Obama takes office. He'll stay the same smooth persona in office.

The discomfort with his associations is largely controlling because Obama has very little history. Virtually no legislation, no law school writings, no executive accomplishments. So what are we left with? I am pretty sure you agree that a politician's rhetoric is useless. So then what? We basically have his resume. Beyond that, his relationships. Those relationships follow a (vaguely?) disturbing pattern.

I also think it's funny that you criticize vague dislike, but you don't have any criticism of vague like. Ask your favorite Obama supporter, what is their favorite Obama accomplishment? It will either be his biography (transcendent!) or his campaigns (e.g. defeating Hillary, giving a great speech, etc.).

By the way, Obama has done work and does have accomplishments, but they are not the kind his campaign wants to share. Virtually all his work was done for/with ACORN or with Ayers at Annenberg.

Most people running for president have actual accomplishments (they they are willing to share), and therefore aren't so dependent on their relationships (think Bill Clinton - his record as governor, combined with his personality, outweighed his troublesome history with women).
Oct 31, 2008
Obama Pelosi Reid = much more than a vague sense of discomfort.
McCain Pelosi Reid = much less sense of discomfort. Gridlock Rules and often gives us our best government!
Oct 31, 2008
I once got a vague feeling of discomfort after eating at a local Quickie Taco joint. The same feeling of discomfort repeated itself after the first time I heard Palin speak. Therefore, feelings of discomfort should not be neglected when making a voting decision. If one of the candidates gives you gas during the election, imagine the full-blown case of the runs you will have for four years once that person gets elected.
Oct 31, 2008
It sounds like McCain "supporters" that you spoke with are not so much for McCain as they are against Obama. I got to thinking... would the election results be any different if you could choose to vote against a candidate? You could only vote for one candidate or against one candidate, and not both. So, I couldn't vote for McCain and against Obama - only one or the other. Your total vote count is the number of votes for you minus the number of votes against you. You could still write in a candidate as a "for" vote, but you couldn't write in a candidate as an "against" vote. Who would win then? I'll bet that a lot of McCain voters wouldn't vote for him so much as they would vote against Obama.
Oct 31, 2008
The problem I have with the "vague feeling" is that people are making decisions based on that, and not Fact, Logic or Knowledge. Maybe there is something to the idea of using Feelings for business and political decisions. However for me it seems a ignorant and dangerous thought process.

But hey, maybe I'm wrong.
Oct 31, 2008
I would not call my fear "vague" but maybe I don't take the time to fully explain what I am feeling. Obama will change the US - for the worse. I fear he will make HUGE changes, possibly fundamental ones. Things like "wealth redistribution" and health care and more entitlement programs - moving us more and more toward socialism. I don't want socialism. I don't trust McCain more than Obama (they are both politicians - 'nuff said). But I don't think the US needs DRASTIC change and that's what Obama seems to want to make happen. Obama scares the crap out of me.
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