Stars On 45 Thousand: The Triangle Techies

16 03 2012

I was wondering how long it would take for the political beancounters to come up with this cycle’s version of the Soccer Moms, Nascar Dads or Security Moms to fawn over.  They do this every four years:  They dream up these niche constituencies whom they say are ultimately going to decide who does and does not reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the next four years, and assume that everyone else’s vote is set in stone.  The political class believes it, and whether or not it’s actually true, it becomes true because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This year’s Soccer Moms?

The Triangle Techies.

The calculus goes like this:  Obama will win every state that Kerry won in 2004.  Therefore, he needs to win North Carolina, and then either Virginia or Colorado, to go past 270.  The swing voters in North Carolina will be some 45k people making $75k or more who live in the Raleigh-Durham “Triangle” area and work largely in the tech sector largely anchored at the Research Triangle Park.  Some are saying these 45k people, who are said to care far more about the economy rather than social issues, will be the penultimate swing voters this year.

This analysis bothers me for several reasons.

1.  Don’t be too quick to assume that Obama wins Pennsylvania.  Also don’t be too quick to assume that Romney wins Nevada, which this piece is doing.  Though I guess they’re thinking that a Mormon heavy state will vote for the Mormon.

2.  This whole analysis seems to me to be loaded pro-Romney agitprop on the part of an establishment Republican periodical (remember, the American Spectator is basically an extension of Bill Kristol’s ego) to make his nomination a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3.  Also don’t assume that everybody else’s vote is cast in stone, or that they even will cast a vote in November.  Oh yeah, because this kind of analysis becomes true because of the self-fulfilling prophecy angle, everyone will essentially take residency in Raleigh this fall.  However, it will be assumed that only those 45/75ers will be responsible for whoever wins.  When in reality, they aren’t the only 45,000 people who will cast votes.  Nobody will even think about the people who didn’t bother to vote because both Romney and Obama were too busy fishing for votes only in upper middle class suburbs of Raleigh-Durham appealing to their “sensibilities.”

If you’re not part of this 45/75 class in the Triangle, then they’re essentially telling you that you’re not human.  On the flip side of the coin, the 45/75ers will become arrogant and conceited because everyone thinks they have all this power.

4.  I think Obama’s win in NC (and also IN, which is now presumed to be solid red this year) in 2008 was a fluke, based on the incompetent nature of his Republican opponent, and the fact that he really tried hard, and almost all of his media buys in NC and VA showed his white mother and not himself.  Obama just won’t be “new” in this year.  I think the “bubba-cracker” voters in NC, the ones that just couldn’t stomach in McCain such that they didn’t vote, will vote for any Republican because they can’t stomach more Obama even more.  If Obama had a chance in NC, why did Governor Beverly Perdue fall on her sword?  Obama won’t carry NC.

5.  Personally, I have thought all along this whole bit of minute segmentation of the body politic into discrete “swing” elements has the ulterior motive of precluding white racialpolitik.

In 2000, the New York Times did something similar.  In October, they had a reporter visit Crestwood Mall in St. Louis County, to interview random people.  The jist was that Missouri was a swing state, St. Louis County was a swing county within a swing state, Crestwood was a swing suburb within a swing county, and various undecided voters strolling through Crestwood Mall were supposedly going to decide the election.  The way these people were presented in the NYT, they seemed to be a bunch of oblivious dumbasses.

That insulted me, because I lived in the same area (though in St. Louis City at the time), I went to that mall often, and I was voting in that same election.  I, too, was sorta undecided, between PJB, Howard Phillips and Bush, (I did wind up voting PJB in spite of the thing that made me consider otherwise, Ezola Foster).  Yet, the NYT thought the votes of one of these oblivious dumbasses strolling the mall on a weekday afternoon counted more than my vote.  It’s as if I didn’t matter.

Why is this important?  Bush and Gore were chasing after these kinds of oblivious dumbasses, but they weren’t chasing after me.  This is why the ultimate results were so close, because they sounded like two drone pea politicians in the same pot while chasing after the same drone voters who may not have actually voted when all was said and done.  And that’s what’s going to happen this year in all likelihood between Romney and Obama if this keeps up:  It will be closer than it should be precisely because they’ll both sound the same trying to appeal to the same narrow universe of people, while ignoring everyone else.

UPDATE

I forgot the obvious segue in…dah dah…MUSIC.

Can you believe that this was a #1 hit in 1981?  I guess that only shows how much popular music sucked in 1981, at least compared to the next year.


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