Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How to lose an election...

I have found a propensity among bloggers and reporters talking politics to get really rude and start shouting, blabbering and losing their minds in an uncontrollable descent into personal attacks and stupidity that most listeners just walk away from. They, in the words of John Scalzi, "lose their shit".

Now, I make a concetrated effort to sound reasoned and thought out before I open my pie-hole, especially when it comes to politics and religion. As soon as a person freaks out and starts name calling / ranting and spouting whatever random diatribe they can quote from rote, the audience tends to shut down.

On the other hand, when a person can keep their stuff together and speak in an organized and well thought manner under fire the audience will gravitate towards that person even if they don't agree.

For the speaker it's kind of like being a recruit in the Marines. You have three or four big, mean, fire spitting Drill Instructors screaming incoherently into your ears and randomly throwing stuff around you, maybe even occassionally flicking your forehead with their rock hard finger nails or snapping the bridge of your nose with the brim of their smoky hats.

In the midst of the melee you are required only two things, don't flinch and answer the question that the most senior DI is asking you. That question being something as benign as "What is on the menu for lunch."

If you can handle all of that explosive rage filled pressure and tell the Senior DI, "Sir, it's chicken fried steak and mashed potatos with gravy, sir!" in a calm ordered voice without freaking out on him, you win?.you get to pass to the next level.

If, on the other hand you panic and start screaming back at them to "Leave me alone! One at a time! I can?t focus!" then you lose. At best you get recycled, more likely you're on the way home...no glory...no brotherhood...loser.

The party that loses it's shit, loses the glory. Plain and simple.

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