Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dumbing down

I won't make any comparisons to what I see in Japan as "dumbing down" might not even be possible with respect to Japanese politics. I don't expect they could go any further down. However, David Broder of the Washington Post has an interesting opinion piece on Dumbing Down the Presidency. This is not an especially new thought, but Broder refers to some research which by Elvin T. Lim of the University of Texas which found:

...rather than seeking to persuade voters by arguing for their policies, presidents increasingly have sought to build trust by identifying themselves with those voters and their "common sense" view of the world. "Whereas all of the presidents through Woodrow Wilson appealed to 'common sense' just 11 times in their recorded papers, presidents since Wilson have done so more than 1,600 times"...

And this election will be no different. I read Tobias Harris of Observing Japan impression of a couple of op-eds, one from the Obama camp and one from the McCain camp about foreign policy towards Japan. (I had read the original op-ed by McCain's advisors and was underwhelmed.)

Despite Mr. Harris' gallant attempt to make sense of next to nothing, I cannot figure out what these guys actually plan---if anything.

Presidential candidates dumbing down to the level of a quick blog entry.

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