Apparently two bloggers over at the Detroit News Political Blog, John Needham (who is liberal), and Susanna Cornett (who is not), are having a catfight about the Bush Voters v. Voight-Kampff entry here, which has precipitated the Cornett to answer the quiz at length, along with some various snarky commentary about me and that particular entry, including the methodology of the quiz.
Well, I’m not going to try to defend the quiz on methodology; it clearly has a bias (mine) and I’m clearly trying to provoke. If I wanted to write a legitimate survey, I certainly wouldn’t toss it off in an hour on my Web site. I think the questions are not without merit, but the point for me — aside from the general ventilation of my brain it affords — is to ask whether people are voting for Bush by reflex or voting for because they’ve actually thought through their reasons for voting for him. There’s no real point being nice when you ask someone that; you might as well make them defensive about it and thereby in a mood to justify themselves (it worked on Cornett, in any event). One could just as easily create a similar quiz for Kerry voters, although that one would not be me, because I have no interest in doing so. Point is — Voting by reflex, bad. Voting from thought, good.
Please note that I understand Needham will not accept my answers as honest or true, nor will Scalzi, because they don’t want answers – they want a stupid stick to beat me with.
I don’t speak for John Needham, but personally I’m thrilled she tried to answer them honestly as possible; why wouldn’t I be? Just because I think nearly all people voting for Bush are stupid, ignorant or hypocritical doesn’t mean I can’t be wrong. Really, I’m getting sick of having to remind people constantly that I don’t think my opinion is a direct analogue to reality. People clearly need a refresher course on what the word “opinion” means.
Now, as it happens, I think some of Corbett’s rationales are a tad slapdash; it’s easy to pronounce things like “the Clinton economy was a false bubble of prosperity” and hope people don’t pay attention to the fact Bush’s tax policies went far beyond economic stimulus and became tantamount to a fire sale on my kid’s fiscal future for the benefit of the really really rich. And I think she’s living in some strange parallel universe when she says “The primary initiative was accomplished in Afghanistan before the Iraq war.” Nor am I any less convinced Bush and his administration is not in fact, monstrously incompetent, and a vote for Bush is a thumbs-up on letting the dim rule the roost.
But on the other hand, why don’t you go over and check her answers to see if she’s convinced you she’s not ignorant, stupid or hypocritical for supporting Bush. Who knows? She may, and bully for her if she does. I’d rather have you hear from someone who thinks she has good reasons for voting for Bush than just listening to me confirm yet again what you already know I think about the man. Yes, I think Bush is incompetent, and those who vote for him crazy enablers. But I don’t want you to take my word for it. I’d rather have you think for yourself.