Day By Day

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rove Gets It Right

Karl Rove delivered a speech at Georgetown's Graduate School of Political Management that has been garnering a lot of attention in the MSM and the blogosphere. The focus of the commentary is some disparaging words he had to say about professional journalists, but the really important part of his address was little remarked.

From the WaPo:

"There are some in politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart line," said Rove, who is credited with President Bush's victories in the 2000 and 2004 elections. "I've seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and journalists. American people are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing."

Rove said it is "wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the American voter, but easy to overestimate their interest. Much tugs at their attention."

But he said voters are able to watch campaigns and candidates closely and "this messy and imperfect process has produced great leaders."

Read it here.

This is the kind of truth that political and journalistic pros can seldom admit. Their livelihoods, after all, depend on the assumption that they provide an essential service by informing and controlling an ignorant, feckless, and probably dangerous public. But it important, especially for young people entering the field, to remember that the public has a mind and a wisdom of its own. Rove is doing his listeners a profound service by reminding them of that fundamental, but often unrecognized, fact.

Don Surber notes the same passages and considers them to be almost "Sandbergian" [here]. I suppose he means that as a compliment. I don't have a similar regard for poor old Carl, he was a really lousy historian and biographer. Really, really lousy!!!!

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