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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

letters from a Bush supporter

I actually know--and still talk to, in fact still consider a friend--a Bush supporter. To be fair, it doesn't sound like he's an active supporter of Bush. More a reluctant voter for W. We exchanged some e-mails after the election, and he took the time to write out his thoughts. I've given him a pseudo(acro)nym of EGB ("El Gato Blanco"). Our exchange is reproduced below.

I'm guessing most of my readers (if there any of you out there) are firmly anti-Bush, which is why I sought out his thoughts and wanted to put them up here.

It started with this e-mail he sent me on Monday, Nov 8:

--- EGB wrote:

> Shoo-
> Drop some election science on me....
> Gotta tell you, I voted GW and did not feel strongly or even great about my
> vote. Demos gotta get a stronger, more charismatic candidate. No one
> wants C-3PO in office. I didn't like the campaign they ran either.

My reply:

From: Me
Date: 11/10/04 07:18 PM
Subject Re: Kerry goes down


I agree with you, Dems need to come up with a stronger candidate than
Kerry. don't know if that will happen in 4 years. Also we need to
refine the message(s), and find a way to communicate it. (I say "we"
not b/c I consider myself a Democrat all the way, but I am firmly in
the opposition to Bush rule.)

I gotta say though, I couldn't have imagined voting for W this time.
I really do think 4 more years of a Bush Adminstration is dangerous.
for our society and for the world. i guess we'll see. maybe things
will work out the W has faith they will. or maybe things have to get
worse before they better. my hunch is it's the latter.

but i guess W would say i'm one of those coastal overeducated liberal
"elite", outside of the American mainstream.

glad to hear you didn't feel strongly about the vote for W. what
didn't you like about the Kerry campaign? what did you think of the
Bush (Rove) campaign?

hit the blog for what i'm reading/thinking...URL should be at the
bottom. i'll also start doing more music posts soon.


Here's his reply to that:

Subject: Re: Kerry goes down
To: Me
From: EGB
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 08:40:22 -0600


As strange as it sounds, I was one of those that was undecided until
virtually the time I hit the polling booth. I guess it came down to
Kerry talking a good game, talking about how "I have a plan: w/
healthcare, Iraq, jobs creation. But I never heard any details or
granularity around those plans. I never really heard what he was
going to do that was so radically different from what W was already
doing. He just said go to my website in the debates...

I have read parts of the blogs you sent. I am no big W supporter. I
think he made his mark with his response to 9/11, and by coincidence,
luck or by policies he's instilled, we haven't had another. I give
him the benefit of the doubt, and homeland security is issue #1 to me.
Iraq is turning into a question that was a personal
agenda item for him. But do I believe the world is better off without
Hussein in power? Without a doubt.

I consider myself slightly right of center, more on the fiscal side
than anything. But I can't stand the Repubs. bible banging
stuff...equally the far left bugs me as much. I have no time for the
extremists either way. Also, this may sound bad, but don't
underestimate the redneck contingency in this country. Nascar's
popularity stuns me....and that society backs W 100%. Dems used to
have some presence south of the Mason-Dixon, but that is 100% red now.

The Dems have to run campaigns that clearly state their positions, get
better party definition in terms of what they stand for, don't
mudsling (if the Repubs are doing it....rise above that behavior), and
as shallow as it sounds, I am influenced by the charisma of the
candidate. Bush cannot speak, but you can at least see his intensity.
I truly believe Clinton's wins were because he was smooth, handsome
and believable. People buy into those things. It's as much or more
the candidate's impression as it is his stance on the issues.

I picked up some Musiq, aka Musiq Soulchild I heard off of the heart
and soul of the cities KMOJ. I think you'd like him.


He followed up shortly after with this addendum:

Subject: Re: Kerry goes down
To: Me
From: EGB
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 08:59:22 -0600

The point I was going to make about the 'necks but forgot to in the
previous email: The last two dem presidents have been from the south:
Clinton and Carter. And obviously the Bush's were. The south is very
provincial around "its own". I think you have to run a dem from down there
so you can swing some of those votes. But it's pretty clear that we're
becoming a polarized society in terms of ideals, values, beliefs.


I came back with this short one...

From: Me
Date: 11/11/04 12:01 PM
Subject Re: Kerry goes down


thanks for taking the time to write our your thoughts. it's good to
hear your perspective on these things. like you said, things are
getting so polarized. one consequence of that is that people aren't
having conversations and listening to others' points of view.

do you mind if i post what you wrote on my blog? i'll strip off your
e-mail address, so it would be anonymous.

most of my readers (if i have any) have feelings similar to mine:
voting for W was out of the question...and we're shocked and amazed
that he got 51%. so it would be good to get your POV up for

also, i want to reply, b/c you raised a bunch of interesting points:
iraq, homeland security, the bible-bangers, the rednecks, the south.

but i got to try to focus on work today. i'll try to set aside some
time this weekend to write out my thoughts...


...which elicited one more from EGB:

Subject: Re: Kerry goes down
To: Me
From: EGB
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:16:41 -0600

Go ahead and use whatever in your blogs, I just can't have any hate
mail coming at me at work. I don't mind being shredded on the blog

I do agree that to formulate more solid opinions, you have to have
intelligent (or in my case halfway intelligent) input and perspective
from all sides. If you associate and deliberate with 100% people of
like mind, your opinions can get skewed so far that way that one can
easily see how things spin out of control to the frenzy level. That
is how extremism starts: closed-mindedness and closed associations.
It starts by associating with who you think are people of like mind to
you, but then once ideas start feeding off each other you get a
snowball effect. In the end, I bet a lot of people who get swayed
severely politically to one side or the other, if they were of a truly
objective mind (could analyze themselves from a higher perspective),
would question how they got to the point where they are at. Because I
bet most didn't start that way. Maybe they think they became better
informed on their beliefs...but did they? BTW I'm not accusing you of
being a over the top lefty by any means and I don't throw you in that
category. We haven't talked politics since 11th grade H Col Writ Lab
when you were telling me Public Enemy was bringing the truth. And
anyway, there's nothing wrong with having strong convictions to one
side. I just have a hard time believing that there are indeed people
out there that agree with their candidate's positions and ideals from
top to bottom. I'm admittedly not as informed on everything as I
should be, and I recognize that. But I did try to stay subjective
throughout the debates and tried to gauge the media's spin on the
candidates both ways. There will always be the lifelong, turn the
brain off, vote party-line people on both sides. But there were a lot
of people like me that could be swayed depending on what's important
to them at the time of the election, and Kerry obviously missed on a
lot of those.

Bottom line in my opinion: you can't win when people voting for your
guy are just going that way because they are anti-W. There were not
enough true pro-Kerry's in the end, people that were sold on him as a
candidate. Most of the people I talked to that were going Kerry were
doing so because they hated W. Had the dems had a more charismatic
candidate, he would have won in a landslide.

Are you going to write a book someday or run for office?

I bought the latest Musiq CD....don't have the name off the top.


Don't have much more to add at this point. Just wanted to get it up, as something for you all to consider.

PS: Is it cheating and/or poor blog-netiquette to create entries consisting of e-mail correspondences? Maybe, but I think it's a good thing if it's done conscientiously and responsibly. I've gotten permission from each person whose words I've posted, and also made it all anonymous. If done like that, I think blogging e-mail can be valuable--it makes public some of that vast amount of dialogue that happening privately over e-mail. Let me know your thoughts on this.

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