Friday, May 25, 2012

The low-effort thought of John Archer

   I've been seeing a number of signs and TV ads for John Archer, who is running for Congress in Iowa's 2nd district. With the redistricting, this does not include Linn county, so this will not apply to most of my Rockwell Collins coworkers. But this does include Johnson county, so I do know a few people in that district. So here's the TV ad I've been seeing; let's go through it.

Some people act like you need a PhD from Harvard to run our government. (0:00 - 0:04)
   Is that supposed to be a shot at Obama? Does this guy realize that Romney went to Harvard, too? In fact, I think Romney spent more years at Harvard than Obama. In reality, I suspect he knows exactly what he is doing and his goal is for the conservative viewer to think about Obama and forget about Romney. In other words, he's taking advantage of flawed human thinking (or that low-effort thought I referred to in the title).

Everything I need to know is in the United States Constitution. (0:04-0:07)
   Ummm...not even a course in economics 101? What he's doing here is again targeting his conservative base (he has a primary to win yet, after all) by throwing out this buzzword of ignorance. Need I point out how a lot of conservatives view themselves as fierce defenders of the constitution these days? All a politician needs to do is mention the word and their constituents will automatically get a hard on. (Yet, even the's a metaphor!)

Respect life, preserve the 2nd Amendment, restore power to the States so that we the people can govern ourselves. (0:10 - 0:17)
   Translation: "I'm against abortion and contraception, and you can reasonably suspect I'm against women's rights in general. I think white people should have unrestricted access to guns. I want the States to have more power so those good 'ol red states can more easily follow their archaic ways of life — making abortion and contraception illegal, suppressing women and minorities, discriminating against the homos, teaching the Bible as literal Truth™, which then includes teaching creationism instead of evolution and, yes, teaching that the earth is 6000 years old." Note that I suggested that people like him only want to preserve the 2nd Amendment for white people. I would imaging that if I were to speak of someone of Middle Eastern descent wanting to buy a dozen assault rifles, many conservatives would lose their shit. That would not be OK with them. Yet, if a white guy would want that many assault rifles??? Meh.

And you know what's not in here? That's right — government run health care. (0:17 - 0:22)
   So what? The implication here, of course*, is that government run health care is unconstitutional. I'm pretty sure the constitution says nothing specifically about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicade, so we can expect Archer to be against these programs as well. The same goes for things like radio, TV, and Internet. Better get rid of the FCC. I don't recall anything in there about environmental protection. Good bye, EPA. Seriously, though, it bothers me a bit because this whole "That's not in the constitution" game is only about opposing things conservatives dislike. There are probably a number of government policies that conservatives like — they probably don't mind the FCC keeping profanity off of the TV — that they don't mind despite being "unconstitutional" based on this false standard of anything that is not explicitly stated in the constitution being unconstitutional.

   On a side note, the book he is holding also includes the Declaration of Independence, according to the cover of the book.

   Overall, I find the video quite cheesy. As I mentioned earlier, he has a primary to win first, so this particular video is likely aimed at conservatives. Yet, I'll give him some credit for doing a decent job of using code words to allude to his positions instead of being straight forward about them, which could likewise hurt his chances in the general election. So, that's why I'm here to help decode Archer's commercial. I see "Tea Party" written all over him.

   Your thoughts?

* Perhaps I should not say "of course." There is a conservative posting in the comments that either doesn't get the implication or hir's playing dumb. I suspect the later, but maybe they really don't get it.

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