Tuesday, November 09, 2004

First, solve for x

the arc of red over blue

We seem to be the kind of people who don't balance their checkbook. All the airtight arithmetical arguments about tax cut inequality, social security, and ballooning deficits failed against the steady drumbeat of slogans and images. Our campaign speeches sounded like algebra problems to a lot of voters. That's the bad part.

The good part (and I think there is one) is that we are a country that votes with its heart. That's an endearing quality, if you don't think about the consequences. The heart makes us do foolish things, as they say. Hearts want to do good, but don't know how to do it. Learn to reach more hearts, and we will win. Besides, I don't balance my checkbook either.

Hearts are won with music, not numbers or words. The power of repetitive slogans is the power of a catchy song: you forget the words but you can't stop humming the melody. We've got the right political math, now we need to create political music.

How about stealing a tune from Barry Goldwater? "In your heart, you know he's right." Or let's make up a song of our own, something catchy. Something that gets in your head and stays there. Something you might sing to yourself while you're sitting through 5th period Algebra. C'mon, kids, let's put on a show!