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Sunday, November 14, 2004 

"Bush supporter" doesn't necessarily mean "moron"

I stood on (sic) line for two hours Tuesday to vote, predicting that a big turnout of young people and new voters would push John Kerry over the top. This morning I'm looking in the mirror, wondering, as a journalist and a citizen, if there is something fundamentally myopic about how I see the world.
- 'confessions of an alienated journalist'; poynter online; nov 4, 2004; roy peter clark
Anyone who has asked any variation of the question "How could American voters be so stupid?" should read this article and the comments that follow it, whether you're a journalist or not.

The comments are almost more valuable than the article. Links to the most recent comments follow the article. Click on 'view all' and then go to the bottom of the last page to get to the first comment. I've only read a third of them, but a lot of interesting points are made.

"Bush supporter" doesn't necessarily mean _anything_, but in an awful lot of cases this election it either meant "homophobe" or "uninformed", neither of which I think are good things for people to be.

Did you read the article or the comments?

Not every single comment, but the article and many comments, yes. The comments mostly devolve into another pointless spat. I was responding to your title, though, so your point is?

My point is that I was more interested in what people had to say about the column and the comments than about the title of my post.

I chose that title because in the time since the election I've heard a lot of people refer to Bush supporters as morons and the like without putting any real effort into trying to understand why 'these people' would vote for Bush. I think that's lazy.

Personally, I don't get why they would. But even if it's true that in a lot of cases they were homophobic and uninformed (and I think that's true), I'd really like to understand why voters who AREN'T would vote for Bush.

That's what my title was about. I was pointing out that not everyone who voted for Bush is unintelligent. A better one might have been, "Why did people who aren't morons vote for Bush?"

I thought the value of the column and the associated comments was that they showed that some American journalists recognize that they are looking at the majority of voters as uninformed and are trying to figure out how to overcome that bias.

When I read it, I started to question my own biases on the matter. So I shared it, thinking that others might also find it valuable.

I did, and I'm sure others did too.

But... I'm not going to not reply to something you write just on the off chance you'd prefer that I focus on something else. I think it's great the guy at Poynter realises he's severely out of touch, but I didn't really have much to say about that aside from "hey, way to pull your head out of your ass".

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