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Beregond2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:22 AM
Original message
Baffled
I don't often start threads here, because it seems that others always get to things before I do. But this is a personal situation that has to do with this campaign, and I wonder if others have run into it.

My brother is a reasonably smart guy. About the only stupid vote he ever made was for Reagan, and there were plenty of Democrats who fell for that con. Up until a couple of weeks ago, he seemed to at least be open-minded about Hillary versus Obama, but suddenly he has hardened into blind belief in Hillary, and nothing I say seems to make any difference. He has bought the whole "she wins the big states" crap, and to my absolute amazement, is even expressing doubts about Obama possibly being a Muslim! I said: "He's been a very active member of a UCC church for twenty years," and he said: "You don't know what's in his heart." I sat there with my mouth hanging open. My brother has never been a bigot, to my knowledge, but...wow. I can't even get him to see the logic of the math, or the difference between what happens in primaries and general elections, re what states the Dems might take. And he is seriously suggesting that her years as First Lady count as "experience."

Now he is a Catholic, of a very liberal stripe. Is there some kind of pro-Hillary feeling among Catholics I don't know about? I do know my brother has a tendency to be unduly influenced by those he is around a lot. His wife is more conservative than he is, and very anti-abortion, but that would certainly not cause her to lean toward Hillary.

It is like his mind has suddenly snapped shut, and no facts can penetrate. I suppose some will say: "Well, he's an idiot; nothing you can do about that." But this has personal implications for me. I'm gay, and he was the first person I told. I have always relied on his open-mindedness. Now, I am wondering if he is really some closet bigot.

Here's the really weird part. He is about to lose his job, due to the very exportation of jobs that the Clintons did so much to facilitate. He even admitted a few eeeks ago that I was right about that. So what the hell is he thinking?

Is anyone else experiencing anything like this?
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npincus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. He's made up his mind and can't be bothered with facts
Different case completely, mother does not want to HEAR any criticsm of Hillary ansd automatically rages against anyone present information which doesn not support her beliefs. Likea lot of folks here, to my surprise.
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thepurpose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. Your brother I'm afraid to say is the epitome of why the kitchen sink works.
He may be a smart guy and I mean no disrespect.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
3. Catholics, especially from the Rust Belt (I am one of those), like tradition
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 11:35 AM by wienerdoggie
and familiarity. The Catholic Mass is a ritual. It's not like going to hear a preacher, there's not much congregation involvement, except for Bingo and bake sales--there's no adventure, just routine. These folks take comfort in things that never change. And the people who still live in the grittier areas of OH, PA and WV are often those that refused to move to better regions even when their industries and way of life left them. I left PA after college, and never went back, and a lot of my old friends did the same--we're the more open-minded ones, who aren't as tied to place and family. The ones that are left are the die-hards--they do not open their minds easily. And they are just a little racist, and suspicious in general. Just some insight, and why I don't hold out much hope for Obama to win PA.

edit to add--I don't know where your brother lives. Just giving my theory on why Hillary's strategy worked in places like Ohio.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. "hardened into blind belief in Hillary" --- but it's not a cult, right? No, seriously....
I kid. I think most of us have big blind spots. The truth is that the jobs would be zooming overseas no matter who had been president in the 1990s. I'm favoring Obama, but I will give Clinton credit for supporting large scale employment & retraining programs when he was president. Bush has abandoned that approach and the trend toward underemployment and shrinking real wages testifies to Republican priorities.

The real world reality is that working in the 21st century means constantly updating your skills. It's stressful, and when people are under stress, they turn to what's familiar to seek comfort and solace. For your brother, apparently that means getting the proven quantity of the Clintons back in the White House. I think most people, even when they claim to be sold on one candidate, are open to the right kind of persuasion. But if your brother isn't shakeable in his faith in Senator Clinton, your job is just to be a loving sibling.

Also, slash his tires before he can go vote in the primary. ;)
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. The fear card is very powerful.
The red phone ad worked, and the people upon whom it worked will never admit it ... because they're afraid.

... just a theory, but I am appalled by Hillary's tactics against a fellow Democrat.

-Laelth
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Beregond2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks
Good thoughts, all. I think you are right about the appeal of the familiar, especially to someone like my brother, who has had the same job for thirty years, and is about to lose it. He will be fine financially; it's a forced retirement, not a "firing." And he could make a fortune as a consultant. But, like our father, he is highly resistant to change. I think the only reason I am any different is because I am gay. That puts a person on the "outside" from day one, so we tend to not be so dependent on social reinforcement, since we never get any!

And yet...my brother was a big Edwards supporter, as I was. And Edwards represented more substantive change than either Hillary or Obama. So maybe there is some racism involved. I don't know though. I've never seen any evidence of that in him. Strange. Maybe it is a generational thing? He is seven years older than I am, and those years were critical ones in American history. (He was born in 1947, I was born in 1954.)

We are in Washington State, btw.
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surfin Donating Member (250 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Not working in Wy.
They answer their own red phone at 3am and handle it.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. she did not win the big states
she piggy backed off of state machines - CA it was the LA Mayor's machine. Who are hoping for a cabinet position or vice president position.


Exactly what big state did she win without the support of the local state machinery?
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housewolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's the fear thing...
It's insidious but the fact of the matter is... it works. It strikes a chord in the old reptilian part of the brain that's not conscious but nonetheless, very powerful.

It's a shame, and it seems to me that it's truly immoral to use it, but it works. That's what negative campaigning is all about, striking a chord of fear of one's opponent in the voters.

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