Yesterday, I posed a question to the ladies of the self-identified "momosphere"... I asked about what they thought that the current Presidential candidates should be discussing with them, in particular, during this campaign. The answers, some delivered via the comment box, some delivered via email, were interesting.
The overarching theme that was addressed was that the Presidential candidates need to talk to the "momosphere" like they are more than "just mommies"... that they have greater concerns than health care, and education... that they care about all of the issues that other voters care about... that they are not a monolithic group of voters.
I was pleased at most of the answers, but not surprised, they were what I expected of such a great group of people. As pleased as I was, however, I was left with a bit of a quandary: If mommy-bloggers are just like every other voter, why do they feel the need to be addressed as a voting block?
This is one of the biggest problems with Presidential politics. Americans have a deep-seated need to feel special. We want to feel like we are being payed attention to. We want to be courted... but that isn't terribly productive. Let's take a look at my group, shall we? I belong to the married-with-children-middle-class-black-law-abiding-male-suburbanite, group. My group is fairly large. Should Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John McCain be calling me to set up a time to talk about my issues? Some would say yes... I say bollocks!
Look, my concerns overlap with a large majority of the populace to some degree or another. I care deeply about the continued prosecution of the war in Iraq. I care about the economy, I care about education (and getting rid of the no-child-left-behind law), I care about global warming, I care about fostering an equitable and just society... I care deeply about equal treatment under the law for ALL of our citizens, not just the ones that look or act like me. I care about lots of things... but are any of the things that I mentioned specific to my group? I don't think so. So, I really don't need to hear from the candidates in person. I can look at their track records and the stated policies and the way that they have voted in the Senate to see if their views and activities dovetail with mine. I think that I would be turned off to have any of the candidates come and tell me how great my neighborhood is, and how important Prince William County is, and how special the people on my street are. I would find it condescending and disingenuous. That sort of campaigning would turn me off.
You see... what candidates say and do is far more telling when they are talking to someone else. Candidates that gear their speeches towards an audience based on the color or gender of their audiences, bear a great deal of watching.
Sadly, American voters are lazy. Generally speaking, few people put in the real effort that it takes to make an informed decision. Instead, they want that hold-my-hand-and-tell-me-you-love-me bullshit. They want to hear the speeches. They want to be convinced, they want to be courted, and generally speaking, they vote for whomever makes them feel the best about themselves.
It's no way to elect a leader. You can bet your ass on that.
***NOTE*** The point of this post isn't to beat up on the mommyblogers. If you have that thought in your head, consider yourself in a Time-Out.