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Apparently I've been living in a fairytale land where anyone who labels themselves an Independent lays claim to that title because they don't vote straight ticket, that they weigh evidence before deciding on which Independent candidate to support OR whether to support a Rep/Dem candididate. That they aren't comfortable with the system as is and want to see some radical change. That they research and give pause before making any judgements of candidates.

I realize thats a little simplified, but I know very few Independents and have made my assumptions based on what I've read or seen in the media, online, etc.

I've gotten a little insight today that surprised me....follow me past the fold to see what I've learned and maybe open a dialogue about what can be done here.

Like many of you here, I send the occassional FWD'd emails to fellow Dems or friends when I find it worthy of bugging someone with. I myself hate FWDs so I don't send many....I delete most and believe most of my friends will too.

But I read Eve Ensler's thoughts about Sarah Palin on the HUFFINGTON POST SITE, and shortly after got an email forwarded to me by my Mom, forwarded from some women and the Democratic headquarters in her small town in northern Iowa. As a woman, and a Mom with a small daughter, I felt it important enough to not only forward to my friends that I knew were Obama supporters but those I was unsure of and those I knew were NOT. This, to me, is the perfect example of something that transcends party affiliation. As women, we need to really consider what Palin and her ilk propose to bring to the White House.

I recieved this odd response from a friend of mine (living in St Louis) who I haven't known terribly long but what I do know about her is that she is a forward thinking woman, a single Mom and pretty cool (in my opinion, of course!).

Her response.

"boy I sure am getting a lot of anti-Palin emails... You know I am an independent?

A few quick thoughts on what you just sent me: I am pro-choice and my daughter got pregnant young and unmarried, as did I... to use her daughter's life choices as political leverage in anyway - by any party just disgusts me... and also, the banned book list stuff is not correct - it simply is just not true - please research it.

This is the first Democratic election I have received so many misleading emails slinging so much mud, I wonder why the Dem's think O'Bama can't win on merit - I have yet to receive ONE email telling me anything that Obama will do (or has done of value besides inspire hope - which is no small task - but Presidential Leadership requires more than simply evoking emotion from the masses) - yet my Republican friends send me stuff about McCain all the time - and not ONE time have I received a trash email about Obama from them...

Anyway, all send in respectful candor, kay?"

I'm not sure I know where to begin to react to that.

I've lived most of my adult life as a Dem. believing that Democrats are the party that engage far less in negativity, bashing, slader, lies.....and have been alternately frustrated that this ends up often being their downfall yet so proud of the high road the Dems (often) take that it is one of the party's most attractive traits to me.

Applied to Obama, I have felt the same way. I was initially attracted to his graciousness, his class, the respect he shows everyone....even the nastiest of opponents. Yet I feel frustration, too, when I see him attacked and lied about and worry that if he stoops to the level of those slinging mud at him he will lose what so many find appealing about him to begin with. And if he doesn't, there is the chance people will believe the lies.

So now, with the need coming down to appealing to the Independent voter....how does Obama overcome that? How does he counter against the constant attacks, try to get the truth out there, try to get people to listed to reality when they can't seem to get past the mudslinging in general?

Here's what gets me. "I wonder why the Dem's think O'Bama can't win on merit".

I felt like, with that 2 minute ad that is on the front page right now, he had addressed it in a way that would work. It actually made me cry a little, it was so straightforward, so good, so real....so positive. But how can he, how can WE, keep from looking like pushovers while nasty lies fill the airwaves AND maintain a level of class....keep on the "high road"? How can we appear to believe Obama CAN win on his merit when we have to constantly counteract the bald faced lies and nasty tone this election has taken on in the last few weeks? We know we believe it....what we don't believe in is our fellow Americans to see what we see.

And what to counter an email like hers with? (I did respond, rebutted the book list thing with not the list but the facts, sent her links to read both candidates plans side by side, a link to how to figure your tax cut under Obama v. McCain's plan, etc). But more than that...I'm stumped.

Is negative the way to do if its going to turn away Independents like my friend?

Originally posted to vintage dem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Change will protect the status quo -- (0+ / 0-)

    -- whereas voting for the status quo will effect great change.

    The difference is that the "status quo" part that change would bring about would be the GOOD parts of this quo -- such as being able to eat, being able to sleep in one's own bed, and having clean water to drink.

    The changes that will come about if we vote for the "status quo" will be as follows:

    More financial problems
    More wars
    More global warming
    Potential nuclear holocaust that could end everything as we know it

    So -- from that perspective, it is easy to see what the correct course of action is.

    Obama -- Change that we can believe in -- thus protecting the things that we hold dear

    McCain -- Promises to keep everything the same -- and yet will bring about bad changes that will potentially destroy our way-of-life.

  •  Your Independent friend (0+ / 0-)

    may have had some unfortunate luck of the draw for us, if her Republican messengers are more decorous than her Democratic ones. Because we know that scurrilous anti-Obama forwards are thick on the ground.

    I'd apologize to her for the accident of a few jerks on our side.  And keep up the great work with fact-based persuasion.  

    Also maybe the precedent of how well Rovial tactics have been working for R's, is leading to an undue amount of emulation.  People are afraid.  Democrats are afraid, and with good reason, because our democracy can't survive another four or eight years of defiance of law.  Maybe some acted badly out of panic.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:18:17 AM PDT

  •  However, if she's into (0+ / 0-)

    "respectful" candor, you might call her on the "O'Bama" mockery.  How is altering a candidate's name part of a responsible fact-based dialog?  She should ask herself just how open she is to unbiased evaluation, given this usage.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:22:21 AM PDT

    •  Knowing Her (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      Its likely a weird typo, she's hardly racist or biased in a way that would equate to that misspelling....I'm betting she was typing quickly and made an error. Funny, I didnt even notice it. I will have to ask her if it was intended!

      •  Apostrophe AND capitalization? (0+ / 0-)

        Almost impossible to generate through normal typo processes.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:38:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp

          But I don't know what the point would be. I'm going to ask her, but I'm not sure what it would mean aside from a childish "I'm going to spell your name wrong to show you I don't like you!" kind of mentality. And she'd already said some good things about him. I don't get it, but I'm not as worried about that as I am her viewpoint that Dems don't believe he can win on his own merit, and that her experience has been what it has with negative emails coming from Dems.

          •  Yes, but the "I don't like you" tipoff (0+ / 0-)

            is going to very much skew her view of what she is seeing and hearing from friends on both sides.  It's good that she's still in dialog with you and that you are working to bring her around with real data.  But it suggests that you're starting the game in the hole, and may have to work that much harder to get a fair hearing.  Good luck, and keep up your efforts!

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:52:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, agito
    I forgot again!
    •  first off (0+ / 0-)

      First off, ignore Palin. It's Obama vs. McCain. even if you convert her to think Palin is a bad idea, they still might vote for McCain.

      Stick to the Economy, and if you like, McCain's lack of support for equal pay.

      on the other hand, you could forward her any and all of the Obama crap mail you've recieved and ask her if she's seen those.

      •  Good Ideas (0+ / 0-)

        And happy to say no one sends me Obama crap! I seriously have no idea what BS is being spread about him, aside from the obvious things (he's Muslim, etc etc).

        Its probably bad for my blood pressure to know what those emails say.....

  •  By Sticking To The Facts, & Saying What We'll Do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp

    I think that if you tell the truth, then you can honestly and reasonably use your opponent's views against them. However, you also have to offer a specific and positive plan. Look, I used to like Sen. McCain, but his campaign is simply lying. We don't need to do that, although I just read an opinion piece that said we should. It's on Slate here:

    http://www.slate.com/...

    Trying to make the libertarian Democrat a reality

    by Don the swing voter on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:55:43 AM PDT

    •  The old McCain was a lot more likeable (0+ / 0-)

      He was always too conservative and I disagreed with him vehemently on many points ... but he seemed at one time to be a bit of a sceptic, a bit of a moderate, a bit of an individualist.  With his presidential run, all that went right out the window, and now he's just twisting in the breeze of whatever the ruling coalition wants to hear.  

      I'll go look at that Slate article ... I am predisposed to hate anything that says we should contribute to the dumbing-down of national discourse.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:58:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting Article (0+ / 0-)

      I've really been struggling to come down on one side or the other as to how negative I feel comfortable with, how negative is going too far.....but also, whether its going to be crucial to avoid the nightmare of a McCain-Palin whitehouse.

      I just don't know.

  •  Heard Back From Her (0+ / 0-)

    She hasn't been keeping up so is very uninformed....her TV broke in February and she hasn't replaced it, has to sell her house as her son is moving to be with her ex/his Dad due to behavioral problems and without child support she cant afford the house anymore. I'm amazed she's maintained having a computer, but she has an online biz and I think she likely had to choose between staying online to make money or have a TV. She's in a rough place right now.

    I'll stay in touch with her better than I have to try to help her through this.

    "In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about *hope*"~ Barack Obama

    by vintage dem on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 05:56:01 AM PDT

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