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the Boomer Trail ...
Lessons From the 2010 Campaign
early January the
survivors of the November 2nd election will be sworn in, a welcome
change from being sworn at. Voting results
cheered Republicans and brewed the Tea Party to life. They also
taught us a few lessons.
For starters candidates with gobs of money don’t always win. After tossing
her hat into the ring along with $40 million the boss lady of the World Wrestling
Federation, Linda “The Mauler” McMahon, lost her U.S. Senate smack
down with Connecticut’s attorney general.
On the West Coast ex-CEOs Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman pumped so much of their
own money into their losing campaigns they could have bought every California
voter a pepperoni pizza. (Exit polls show 64 percent of voters would have preferred
We learned that youth doesn’t always trump age. Seventy two-year-old Jerry
Brown won the California governor’s race. Former “Governor Moonbeam” is
now a political bookend, the state’s youngest and oldest governor.
We learned that dabbling in witchcraft in your youth is a no-no if you hope to
represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate (loser Christine O’Donnell) but perfectly
acceptable in Kentucky (Senator-elect Rand Paul).
We learned that the GOP’s main reason for governing is to “deny President
Obama a second term in office.” (Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top
Above all we learned that the American voter is Maslovian. Psychologist Abraham
Maslow believed that people behave according to a hierarchy of values beginning
with fulfillment of basic needs such as food, warmth and shelter and progressing
to “self-actualization.” Self-actualization is the point you reach
when you’re New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. If you have enough money
to buy Manhattan, you run for mayor just to fend off boredom.
Remember the 2008 campaign with its fiery battles over Iraq, Afghanistan, gay
marriage, abortion and those pesky illegal aliens? November 2nd voters didn’t
care about these issues because their wallets were empty.
Another example of Maslovian behavior is “Mamma Grizzly.” Four years
ago Sarah Palin was a struggling middle class governor raising a family on her
husband’s hunting and her meager state salary. Today Palin gets between
$75,000 and $100,000 every time she mounts a stage. So now she’s trying
to be self actualized. Her latest campaign, the kids’ cookie crusade.
When Miss Sarah heard that the Pennsylvania Board of Education was weighing (no
pun intended) banning sweets from schools, she got up on her pricey soap box,
railed against our “nanny government” and tossed cartons of cookies
to enthralled (and presumably non-diabetic) audiences.
Now that Saint Sarah is self-actualized, she will lead crusades against other
wicked nanny government programs: Social Security, Medicare and the $27 million
in federal earmarks shoveled to Wasilla when she was mayor.
All in all, we learned that when the next “change” campaign ends,
nothing will really have changed.
You can read more of Dick Methia’s work at www.
He can also be e-mailed at Dick@AlongtheBoomerTrail.com.
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