Archive

You are currently browsing the Talking Cultural Diversity blog archives for October, 2012.

Why Would any Woman Vote for Romney?

By Jean Mavrelis - 10.27.2012

Several men have asked me lately, “Why would any woman vote for Romney?”

What they have in mind is, “Why would a woman vote for the government to decide what they can and can’t do with their bodies?

My hunch is that in some of the swing states, as a recent AP study showed, a perfect storm of racism and religious conservatism drive an anti-Obama vote from women, especially from the time Obama was elected President.

As for religious conservatism, Steven Pinker wrote an interesting piece, “Why are States So Red and Blue?” in which he identifies the world view of individuals in red states as having what he calls a “Tragic Vision” of  human beings, while blue state individuals tend to have a more “Utopian Vision”.

He also suggests that  social conservatives put a premium on deference to authority, conformity to norms and the purity and sanctity of the body.

Consequently, if human beings are flawed, “their behavior must be restrained by custom, authority, and sacred values.”

Those with a more Utopian view of human nature, on the other hand, “believe individuals are capable of wisdom and reason and can determine for themselves what is fair, harmful or hurtful.”

Pinker goes on to offer theories as to why these different world views might be tied to geography.

Much of his argument is reinforced in Jim Webb’s enlightening book, “Born Fighting” about Scots-Irish settlement and migration.

I would like to hear from readers, especially, women readers, why they think women would vote for Romney.

Missing the Point

By Thomas Kochman - 10.13.2012

Rules governing U.S. mainstream discourse deal with format and style, not substance. Sentences are parsed less for their substance, than for the manner in which things are said.

In the first Presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the media and public in general declared Obama the loser because his presentational style was too “professorial” and “conciliatory.”

In the last Vice Presidential debate, Joe Biden’s performance vis-à-vis Paul Ryan was downgraded, because he “interrupted.”

On CNN, ratings on who won the debate come in before the viewers were given the “reality” or, “fact-check”.

Yet in service of truth telling, misstatement of facts needs to be challenged when they are being said.

Doubt has to be planted early before those hearing it can give credence to it.

This is especially true when the attention span of people is limited.

The edge and moment is lost waiting until someone has finished.

Has anyone considered that when creating the format of a debate?