American psychologists set an “inhuman” experiment with a group of unsuspecting consumers. Gathering 32 persons in a lab, the scholars suggested that the volunteers taste a new strawberry yogurt and share their impressions with them.
“For the supreme technical reasons, incomprehensible for the profanes, the sampling will be taken in the perfect dark” added the sadists in white robes.
The meanness of the trick was that it was a chocolate yogurt to be served instead of the strawberry one! More than a half of the volunteers – 19 out of 32 – did not notice the substitute. One strawberry admirer even vowed that from now on he would be buying only this kind. The participants of the experiment were not idiots, but they knew so well what to expect, and that attitude was stronger then their taste and mind.
Same thing happens to America, divided into two parties, on the electoral season. Each of the halves is only capable of hearing what it already knows. So the expensive campaign is addressed actually to those few who have not taken a decision yet. The rest of people are hopeless, as party belonging is inherited; it is defined with climate, income, history, and place of residence, of course. Not only the adherents of different parties do not live together, they do not live in same place. In Texas, for example, they never vote for the Democrats, and in New York they never go for the Republicans. In those states one may not come to the elections, as everything is known beforehand.
The matter is more complicated about emigrants. Not having family-based political traditions, they choose a party to their taste. As a rule, this is the Republican Party. This one seems to me more muscular, more authoritative and more patriarchal to our emigrants. This is the party of the father, not brother.
The Democrats are different; this is why the rest of the population votes for them: professors and workers, young and lonely, women, “green”, stars, intellectuals, trade union members, national and other kinds of minorities. In other word, this is about either rich or poor.
Differences between parties must be defined with the platforms. However, frankly speaking, it is in the bone. Everyone in the world is either Democrat, or Republican, even though one has never heard such words in one’s life.
To recognize who you are, just answer a question: what would be your attitude towards a mink coat for a 5-year-old girl? A Republican would be glad for the girl and for her prosperous parents, and for the market economy. A Democrat would be sorry for the killed animal and for someone’s money that might have been used for the good of the community. This applies to all aspects of life. When a Republican wants to help to a poor man, he gives him a thousand dollars. When a Democrat wants to help a poor man, he hires an official to watch so that the poor man does not waste the money on drinking. The Republicans want to have less government, while the Democrats want it to be more effective, and both sides are striving to get to the White House, and on the way there they say anything that we, the voters, would like to hear.
Most pleasant for the voter is to learn that the taxes will be lowered. Obama promises that to everyone, except the richest. McCain is going to start exactly with them. That is unlikely to help much to me personally and to the whole country. You can judge by yourself. McCain saves $1,400 a year for me, Obama saves $2,200. The difference is 800 dollars. That’s 15 bucks per week, which is the price for one pizza. (In the non-metric America the area is measured with football fields, scandals with resignations, and the expenses with pizzas).
The matter is that usually the presidents can do little about economy. Some were lucky to be in the office at the times of boom, like Clinton was, others, like Carter, had to rein at the period of crisis. The presidents had nothing to do with that. Actually, this is the feature of America that does not allow the state to interfere with the business unless there is urgent necessity. Within the election campaigns, long discussions are dedicated to the limits of that necessity, however, the bread, let alone the gas, would not get cheaper out of that reasoning.
Kennedy said that the president exists not for home, but for foreign policy.
He confessed to his friends it was during the Caribbean crisis that he felt for the first time he was worth of his salary.
In the meantime, dealing with foreign policy is even harder than with the home one. The trouble and the bless of American elections is in their unpredictability. It’s not only that no one knows what they would end in. It is not even known what they will be dedicated to. It is considered that every election is dedicated to a certain topic. But when the struggle continues so long, like it is this time, the plots get outdated and are substituted. The beginning was very simple and easy – the war in Iraq, hated by the majority. Then Iran appeared. Then the gas went up abruptly. Finally, Russia got back to the battle field. And there are still 7 weeks before the elections.
No wonder that the candidates cannot follow one main line. They speak much and about everything at a time. A semantic field is formed around the team of each contender, which can be analyzed statistically. Comparing the frequency vocabulary, we can bypass the rhetoric and get to the unconsciousness of each party. (Similarly that way the rhymes work, giving away the inside of the poet’s soul. Dante watched that the lofty was not rhymed with the nasty in his poems). Well, the results of such an analysis are no surprising: the Democrats mention the medical insurance most of all, while the Republicans mention the God. The former curse Bush, the latter do not mention him at all. Both sides repeat very often same word that seems to have no sense at all. -that’s “changes”.
McCain and Obama with hysterical insistence repeat that next four years America will be living differently form the previous ones. No one knows what exactly it will be like, but anyway it will be something different. This is the latent content of any elections, not only these ones.
American democracy seems archaic to an on-looker, and it seems funny when you get closer. However, it’s been for the third century that it manages to cope with the main task: providing for continual and unstoppable, menacing and heavy course of times. This machine enables correcting any course, not allowing the evil to become eternal and the good to become accidental, and the mistake to be to irreparable.
While there are two yogurts, it does not matter what exactly they differ with.