Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Letter to Ken Blackwell's Blog
To Ken Blackwell’s Blog,

Below is some unsolicited, but much needed, advice from this first-time writer/ long-time reader regarding your most recent post:

Ted Strickland Can't Find Time to Support Veterans and Our Troops

On Tuesday (June 27), Ted Strickland missed yet another day of votes in the U.S. Congress. This time, he missed voting for the "Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2006", which increased compensation for veterans with service-related disabilities. With 408 affirmative votes, the resolution was passed unanimously. But Strickland, who claims to be supportive of veterans' issues, couldn't find the time to show up and vote in favor of veterans.


1. The Angry Voice
Fake anger? Come on. Do you really believe there are people who will read this and think: Wow! Ken is REALLY angry with Ted for missing that vote; Ken must REALLY care about our veterans.

2. The Missing Information
Let’s assume these people do exist (e.g. the Fox News audience); people who equate righteous-sounding anger with moral superiority.

To win these people over to your side, you want to make them believers. To do that, you need to start with something believable. A clear and simple message that provides a logical reason for you to get angry at your opponent about an issue that everyone supports.

And here is that message (paraphrasing):

My opponent did not vote on the Veterans’ Act therefore he hates veterans- and boy, am I angry about it!

Now THAT is a clear message.

The result? Armed with this new, easy-to-understand information, blog-reading Blackwell supporters across Ohio now believe what they have always believed: I knew those liberal democrats hated veterans and now, finally, I have proof.

Of course, most of Ohio’s voters won’t read your (or my) blog and will never receive your message.

This is probably for the best since most people would find it too simple to be true. Everyone is skeptical about a message that is too clear because this clarity requires the exclusion of important facts that, while relevant, tend to ‘cloud up’ the message’s reasoning.

And, in this case, that skepticism would be warranted.

From an article in yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch:

Strickland said that many of the votes he has missed are noncontroversial procedural motions or bills that were expected to pass by sweeping margins. For example, Strickland missed a vote last month on the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, which he co-sponsored.

3. The Included Information
Your pretend anger would be more believable if you had not included the statement: “the resolution was passed unanimously”.

Without this information, one might think that the vote was actually close- that Ted’s inaction ALMOST took money out of the pockets of injured veterans.

Uninformed readers might not understand that no one would vote against something called the Veterans’ Compensation Act- not in an election year.

But they do understand “408-0” and “unanimously” and, thanks to you, they might realize that showing up to vote for something that is GUARANTEED TO PASS would not be the best use of his time.

Why would someone want to pretend to be angry at someone for using his time wisely?

5. The Past
You picked the topic of voting to pretend to be angry about!? With so many people REALLY angry about the last election?

Given Ken’s “failures” as Ohio’s chief elections officer during the 2004 presidential election, it seems obvious that he is an active supporter of people NOT voting- especially Democrats.

The entire post resonates with hypocrisy.

6. The Present and Future
Coincidentally (or not), on that same day (June 27) , Rasmussen Reports released the following, more relevant numbers:

Strickland now leads Blackwell 50% to 37%.


I hope you find this advice helpful.

Sincerely,
Joe

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