Monday, November 3, 2008

Bradley Affected


In recent weeks there has been talk of The Bradley Effect, named for Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley who unsuccessfully ran for Governor of California in 1982 and 1986. The "effect" is that white voters say publicly that they'll vote for a black candidate so they won't seem racist, but then that privately, in the voting booth, they won't because they actually are racist.

This has been talked about because various "experts" claim it could be a big factor in tomorrow's election. Never mind that people who actually worked on the 1982 Bradley campaign say there was no such phenomenon, that polls showed Bradley losing support days before the election so that his loss was not the major surprise that these modern "experts" talk about.

I think there are two real reasons that right-wingers talk so much about the Bradley Effect.

The first is to give their voters hope. The poll numbers showing Obama so far ahead must be discouraging to them, and campaign organizers are afraid that if their base feel they've already lost, they won't show up to vote.

The second reason is more insidious: they need something to use an explanation for McCain's surprise win after the election day irregularities and pre-programmed voting machines give McCain a slight win tomorrow.

Through all of this, I've really wanted the answer to one question: if John McCain wins tomorrow and later learns that he only won because of crooked tactics, what would he do?

If he were still the honourable, trustworthy, respectworthy, serve-my-country, truth-justice-and-the-American-way former soldier who served in the Senate, I think he'd do the right thing: tell the truth, prosecute those responsible, and resign?

But in recent months, that man has disappeared, replaced by just another self-serving, do-anything-to-win, ends-justify-the-means politician who appointed Karl Rove to head his campaign and named James-Dobson-in-a-Dress to be his running mate. I'm pretty sure that this new candidate McCain would rationalize that he can't do what's best for the country if he's not in office and that if he can only assume the office by cheating, then he has to cheat because it's in the nation's best interest.

God, what happened to people who know that having a fair, honest election is more important than who wins?

1 comment:

dukerwt said...

it's "win at any cost" that controls politics, especially republicans. if obama wins, i anticipate that republicans will attempt to "de-legitimate" the result by claiming massive voter fraud (acorn) despite the fact it's never been proven to exist. plus, if it's a close vote in the battleground states, expect republican lawyers to challenge the election results in those states.