Monday, August 29, 2005

Rich on Threats

While I liked this Frank Rich Piece on Iraq, particularly the uselessness of "triangulation" strategies, my favorite paragraph was by far this:

But don't expect any of Mr. Feingold's peers to join him or Mr. Hagel in fashioning an exit strategy that might work. If there's a moment that could stand for the Democrats' irrelevance it came on July 14, the day Americans woke up to learn of the suicide bomber in Baghdad who killed as many as 27 people, nearly all of them children gathered around American troops. In Washington that day, the presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held a press conference vowing to protect American children from the fantasy violence of video games.
This gets back to what I was mentioning earlier- the necessity of policy based on thought, not polling and positioning.

(Both are important, of course, but not this much.)

Even a moment's thought not conditioned by these two factors would lead one to realize that attacking video games is a sideshow at best, and extraordinarily unlikely to lead to any electoral breakthrough. It's transparently positioning, even to the layman, and will only succeed in alienating younger twentysomething voters (who are, unlike children and teenagers, the typical "gamer") without currying much favour with parents. It speaks to the lack of coherence in Democratic politics, and it's that lack of coherence that's killing them.


  1. Anonymous2:46 PM

    the fact of the matter is that children in North America think that war is something that they see in movies, like Rambo, just running around killing poeple by the dozens and knowing that they wont get shot. Or if not that then they see it as a video game, that you have bars of health and even if you do die that you can go back and try again. I do agree with Hilary, but honestly its too late. In my history classes kids are saying that if they were in WWII they would kill anyone who got in their way... but in reality as soon as they lifted their head out of their transport boat they would get shot in the head and not know what hit them. Our society is too soft :)

  2. No, actually, that's not the fact of the matter at all. If it were, 9/11 wouldn't have traumatized so many children and young adults who grew up playing games that featured far worse.

    That attitude of "I'd kick some ass were I there" is older than the english language- it has nothing to do with video games.