Conventional political wisdom

Filed under OPINION

Now that both national party conventions have ended, it’s time to reflect.  Most of the analysis you have seen or heard has been pretty much what was expected.  Most of the political pundits live in an echo chamber—they all talk with each other and travel in similar social circles. I found very little fresh, insightful analysis. And that is also the problem with both campaigns.

Political conventions no longer have any useful purpose, especially as a news event. There is absolutely no news value—everything is scripted down to the last period.

Purpose of conventions
The purported purpose of both conventions was to tell the American people what their respective visions was for America over the next four years. That approach is so 20th century.

People no longer want to be talked to; they want to be talked with. Both conventions were presented as a Hollywood production that ignored the realities of everyday people.

People want to hear about thoughtful solutions to the issues that are most on their minds – the economy, education, job creation. Obama’s solution to everything is, “give me more time.”  Romney’s solution seems to be, “I am not Obama.”

‘Make me feel good’
Neither candidate is being truthful with the American people.  Conventional wisdom is people want to be made to feel good.  It reminds me of the scene in the movie “Monster’s Ball’’ with Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton.  Before the raw sex scene, Berry looks very passionately into Thornton’s eyes and says, “Make me feel good.”

Thornton proceeds to just that. But guess what, after the thrill was gone, she was still facing all of the problems she had before the sex. So, the moral of the story is that whenever you ask someone to “make you feel good,” it has little lasting value.

Ultimately, people will vote for the person they feel a connection to and one they feel will make their lives better.  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Personality determining factor
Obama makes people feel good, but has produced no vision for the future.  Romney does not connect with people at all and has produced no vision for the future.  So, if the election is run based on personality, then Obama wins.

In boxing, it’s almost impossible for a challenger to defeat the champion on points.  The challenger must knock out the champion.

Based on performance, I cannot vote for Obama. Based on message, I don’t have a reason to vote for Romney.

Many people who voted for Obama in 2008 are totally dissatisfied with him, but Romney has not made himself a viable alternative.  He must deliver a knockout blow to Obama fairly soon or it’s four more years!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm.

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