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Silverhill's Lair
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The Republicans are up to their usual tricks: lying.

I stand by my belief that lying works. The thing is, most people are too lazy or too stupid to verify facts for themselves.

But on a brighter note, we have this macro in response to Palin's assertion that a community organizer doesn't actually do anything. Haha!

I'm feeling: cynical cynical

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1. I made this Obama icon after the 2004 convention. I made it a point to watch his speech (having heard about him but not knowing much about him), and I couldn't turn away. It was the most amazing political speech I had ever heard.

2. Last night's speech made me fall in love with Barack Obama all over again. He is so brilliant and such an amazing speaker. And he's inspiring. He manages to temporarily silence my inner cynic (which is convinced McCain is going to win). But....

3. I've heard some people saying that Obama's speech last night was so good that he has the race locked up. What a dangerous thought! Remember the tortoise and the hare, folks? And this is a tight race, so it isn't even comparable.

4. McCain has chosen a woman as his running mate, which is the smartest thing he could do. The fact that she has less experience than Obama (which McCain has attacked Obama for continually), means that he chose her purely for the "feminist" factor.

5. Whoever chose the music for the Democratic convention needs to be fired. With a couple exceptions (Bruce Springsteen, etc.), the music was horrible for the context!

Michelle Obama spoke, and then they played Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely?" I like Stevie Wonder, and Michelle Obama is lovely. But bad choice. How about something more empowered or politically aware? In general, every time I watched the convention, they were playing disco or some other dated ('70s/'80s) music. And I like that music. But again, bad choice. Listening to "We Are Family" doesn't make me feel very progressive or like Obama/Biden will change the country.

Then, after Obama's speech, they switched to an orchestral movie score track. Again, I like movie scores, but again, it was a bad choice. The thing about movie scores is that they invoke mood. So, for every rousing theme, you also have more somber musical themes or more menacing musical themes. (Put another way, if you choose music from, say, Star Wars, let it be the main theme and not the "Imperial March" or even "Luke and Leia.") And so, we have Obama's speech ending with music that quickly turns tense and menacing. Not good.

6. I will be posting a sequel to Silverhill's Guide to Winning an Election You Really, Really Didn't Deserve to Win. The thoughts are in my head; I just have to write it.


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Repeated rude comments from users I've never heard of (and who have no content or friends) = friends only.

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Well, the election is over. And I think we've all learned a little. ... And anybody who foolishly had any idealism left has learned a lot. (Welcome to the ranks of bitter cynics!)

How did Bush win re-election? It's all about effective campaigning. And how do you do that? Well, I'm going to teach you. Welcome to Silverhill's Guide to Winning an Election You Really, Really Didn't Deserve to Win.

The first step to winning the election is to remember important principles. Real estate agents have one: location, location, location. Policiticians have three. (But we'll still repeat each one three times because it's more fun that way.)

Capitalize, capitalize, capitalize. That means anything you can use to your benefit, you should use. It doesn't matter whether it's a national tragedy or an endorsement from a guy who plays a squirrel on a local children's TV show. Use it. Remember to have your people complain about the famous rock star who is endorsing your opponent. Then seize on the opportunity when a famous pitcher endorses you.

Spin, spin, spin. This is closely tied in to capitalize, capitalize, capitalize, but it applies to things that don't automatically work out to your benefit. It takes some effort, but with spin, spin, spin, any negative can be turned into a positive. It also works a similar way with characterizing your opponent. With appropriate spin (billiard players call it "English"), any positive can be turned into a negative. Take a look at the 2002 defeat of Max Cleland for an example or if you are still confused (though spin shouldn't be a foreign concept if you have an ounce of political awareness).

Lie, lie, lie. Here's a helpful thing to know: It's almost impossible for a public official (i.e. your opponent) to win a libel or slander suit. That means you can tell as many lies about him as you want, and there's not much he can do. Make sure you tell the lie in as public a place as possible (at a major rally or on TV) and the retraction/apology in as private a place as possible (at a tiny rally or to your dog). Another helpful thing to know: Many (if not most) people will believe you and not bother to question the lie or seek outside verification. (Have I mentioned how much you should love voter gullibility? Well, you should. It's really awesome.)

With these three principles in mind, how does one go about winning an election? More important, how does one go about winning the election when one (note: by "one" I mean "you," but "one" sounds more scholarly) got a first term under spurious circumstances, had a major national tragedy happen, turned a nice surplus into a massive deficit and got the country involved in an unjustified war? What if one is far less intelligent than one's opponent and dodged the war in Vietnam while one's opponent served heroically? Don't worry! It's still possible to win. Just apply the three principles in more specific ways. To help, here are some examples of capitalize, capitalize, capitalize and spin, spin, spin and lie, lie, lie in use:

Helpful hints:
1. Have a national tragedy (a terrorist attack is fabulous) happen on your watch. Comfort the nation. People will love you for it. Then remind them as often as possible of how wonderfully comforting you were. This is a big one, so make sure you capitalize on it a lot. (It's worth a hell of a lot more than celebrity endorsements.)

2. The word "family" belongs to you now. That means you and your supporters are pro-family and your opponent and his supporters are anti-family. (After all, who wants to be anti-family?)

3. "Patriot" and "patriotism." You own those words, too. And your opponent is unpatriotic. (Again, see Max Cleland case.)

4. "Puppies" and "kittens." Hey, why not? In fact, I think I saw your opponent kicking a puppy.

5. As a correlary to #3, you now own the American Flag, too. Congratulations!

6. Find a group of people who will tell nasty lies about your opponent (and his service in Vietnam or anything else you want). Pretend like you don't know who they are (innocent whistling is good) -- but do not denounce them (very important). Have the group keep saying bad things about your opponent, even after the bad stuff has been proven to be lies. This works because the original accusations were printed on 1A of the newspaper, and the story about the accusations being false was printed at the bottom of 9A (and nobody reads that far in a newspaper).

7. Your inferior intelligence does not have to be a weakness. Just turn it into a lovable trademark! And joke about it. Even better, spin it into you being just a regular guy of average intelligence. (Most regular guys with average intelligence didn't go to Yale, but they didn't have your dad.) Make sure that your opponent comes across as pretentious and egotistical. Play up the regular guy intelligence stupidity. People will vote for you because you are just like them. You represent them. Your opponent probably reads The New Yorker instead of People! He has no chance of connecting with the average voter. Also, when it comes time for the debates, he will look like a bully who's picking on someone weaker. Plus, when you manage to complete a sentence in the third debate, everyone will cheer your amazing victory.

8. Your opponent wants to raise taxes and you want to cut them. It doesn't matter whether this is not true. It also doesn't matter whether you want to cut taxes only for billionaires and not for the average voter whom you are trying to dupe woo with the promise of cut taxes. Just keep repeating the mantra, "My opponent wants to raise taxes, but I want to cut them."

9. When it comes to the economy, there are lots of numbers. Some of them will work for you! More jobs lost than in any other administration? Don't worry! Pull out the numbers that explain there are now more jobs than there were before. Do not under any circumstances explain that this number comes from single mothers who are working three part-time jobs now instead of one full-time job. Three more jobs than before! Must be economic growth!

10. Be really religious. Even if you aren't religious, you should proclaim how religious you are. Religion=morality. That means you're a good person. Also, using the Bible is an excellent way to run the country. Screw the First Amendment! Most people will love your pro-Christian government. Yeah, the ACLU might try to sue you, but they always lose. Haha! Losers!

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I'm feeling: cynical cynical

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