This is very interesting and while it is a long article it is very much worth your time.
The Left’s Big Blunder
The disastrously counter-productive strategy of Obama’s supporters
October 15, 2008
Two campaigns are being waged right now for the presidency of the United States. No, I’m not talking about the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign. I’m talking about the real-world campaign and the meta-campaign.
The real-world campaign involves speeches and proposals and facts and scandals and political positions and news events. These details, however, are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and have become subsumed by the meta-campaign, which consists of perceptions, polls, reactions, analyses and summations. Until very recently, elections were decided by real-world facts — but not anymore. Facts and events in and of themselves are no longer important; what’s important is how everyone reacts to them. And how do we find out the public’s mood concerning this or that incident? Why, the media tells us, that’s how.
Or so we’ve been led to believe.
We’re all part of the campaign now. Every single one of us. Our opinions, our actions, are bundled together as a group and used as weapons in the race for the White House. When the media reports on what people think, either through public-opinion polling or reportage about anecdotal incidents, it becomes an endless feedback loop, in which the media’s representation of most people’s purported thoughts is supposed to influence everyone else’s thoughts. And then they take another poll to determine how effective the first poll was in influencing public opinion, and the cycle starts all over again. Since everyone now knows that any public expression of their political opinions might be reported by the media, even the most innocent activity becomes a calculated campaign action. Saying how you intend to vote is not simply an expression of how you intend to vote, but rather a component of the public barometer of how the majority intends to vote, which is then used by the media and the blogs to influence everyone else. Nothing is done in all innocence anymore.
It’s no longer a matter of dispute that the mainstream media, overall, very strongly leans to the left. Over 90% of journalists classify themselves politically as "liberal" to varying degrees, and innumerable instances of left-wing bias on the part of the media have been pointed out by bloggers over the years. Yes, a small subset of media outlets are identifiably conservative, but they are vastly outnumbered, both in sheer numbers and in influence, by the liberal media. This fact takes on intense importance in an era when the "news" becomes (as it has become) a subjective matter. Nearly any fact or incident can be "spun" to Obama’s benefit.
Obama’s supporters and his official campaign have taken great advantage of this felicitous informational landscape — first, that the meta-campaign trumps reality, and second, that the media is cooperative and complicit. For example, after presidential debates, the leading left-wing blogs always coordinate massive online opinion-poll-stuffing campaigns. After the Palin-Biden vice-presidential debate, the overwhelming consensus on conservative and centrist blogs was that Palin had won handily, and that Biden spoke mostly in a soporific monotone while spewing a continuous stream of easily debunked falsehoods. And yet readers of DailyKos, the Huffington Post, Democratic Underground and dozens of other top left-wing blogs swarmed en masse to vote (often repeatedly) in mainstream online polls about the debate, so that afterward, CNN (among many others) could run headlines that said "57% Think Biden Won Debate," basing their conclusion on the results of the online polls. And once enough of these articles get published, then they themselves become "proof" of the debate’s supposed outcome, and before long (often just a matter of hours) it becomes a "fact" no longer up for discussion that Biden won the debate. This fact is then referenced by pundits, and slips into supposedly neutral news stories.
The illusory quest for conformist decision-making in the 2008 presidential election
Say, for example, that you were an Obama supporter who watched the Vice Presidential debate and felt that Palin had done well and was a more effective debater than Biden — though not well enough to change your mind about voting for the Obama-Biden ticket. Immediately afterward you encounter an online poll, asking you to vote on who won the debate. What do you do? I suspect that most, if not nearly all, Obama supporters would lie and still vote in the poll that Biden had won the debate, even though they felt that Palin had in fact defeated him. But why do so? As an Obama supporter, you still want your candidate to win, so that every action you take should revolve around only one question: Will this help Obama win? Probably unconsciously, people assume without really thinking about why, that if enough people say Biden won the debate, then a general consensus will be reached that Biden did win the debate, and as a result some vague category of Americans who up until that point had not been Obama supporters will change their allegiances and in reality vote for Obama-Biden on election day.
The Obama campaign itself also takes advantage of the sympathetic media to construct a facade of inevitability. The campaign will stage-manage crowds and dictate camera angles so that Obama is seen to not only have overwhelming numbers of fans but the correct demographic proportion of fans; the campaign will coordinate Obama appearances to coincide with rock concerts or other festivals so they can point to the huge crowds who showed up to watch Obama; and the media plays right along.
McCain supporters often complain about this strategy by the Left, going to great pains to point out the poll stuffing, the deceptive photos, the crowd overestimation, the slanted media coverage, and so forth. But should conservatives be so concerned? I propose that McCain supporters should be GLAD this is happening — because the Left is in fact making a disastrous strategic blunder.
A substantial portion of the Left’s strategy during this campaign is to create the perception that as many people as possible are supporting Obama. They strive to not simply show that he has a lot of supporters (which, obviously, he has), but to purposely inflate or exaggerate the numbers in order to make his support seem larger than it really is. The drive to do this seems almost automatic; it is assumed by Obama’s supporters to be the most effective campaign strategy. It’s so automatic that they perhaps are no longer even aware that it is a strategy. But why? What purpose is possibly served by this behavior? Has anyone on the Left ever paused, stepped back, and asked, "Wait a minute — why are we doing this? Are we sure it’s the correct course of action?" Doing everything possible to inflate the perceived support of Democratic candidates has become so de rigueur that the Left has long ago forgotten why they’re even doing it.
This essay examines the underlying faulty assumptions of this strategy — and shows why it’s not only counter-productive, but could backfire disastrously. The Left’s Big Blunder
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