Thursday, June 03, 2004

The shame

Last night at the Democracy For America meetup I got into a good conversation about how to talk with people who voted for Bush in 2000 but are now re-consider their vote. The point was made that many would be reluctant to vote against Bush because doing so would essentially be like saying they were wrong to vote for him in the first place and many people just don't like to admit when they are wrong. In my opinion this doesn't have to be a problem. Consider this potential dialog:

Bush 2000 Voter: Do you think I was wrong to vote for Bush in 2000?

Me: Did you like what you thought he stood for?

B2V: Yes.

Me: Then you weren't wrong to vote for him. You voted for something you believed in. You voted for what you were promised. You didn't vote for what you got. The fault in believing someone who betrays your trust is not in you for putting your faith in his honesty but in him for taking advantage of that faith. You had no reason to believe he would betray you so you went with your best instincts and voted for him. The blame is not yours.

B2V: But I'm still not sure that Kerry is a good alternative.

Me: Do you believe now that Bush will do the right thing if he is re-elected? Do you believe him with the same faith that you did in 2000?

B2V: No

Me: Then if you vote for him again it will be your fault.

Paraphrasing Bush:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice --- Don't get fooled again.

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