Note the following comment from someone called “SWJ,” written May 21 at 04:37 PM and appearing on this comment thread:
We have to have a Carter-like fool get elected now and then to remind America why the left can’t be trusted to protect and defend our country.
Many people my age (I’m 50) remember Carter (let’s call him Carter I) and can’t understand how America can elect another (we’ll call him Carter II). It’s really simple, though. In 1980, when America had the good sense to send that loser packing, I was voting in my first national election. Anyone more than about 5 years younger than me would not remember what a disaster Carter I really was.
Given the current makeup of the under-45 crowd, Carter II had a good shot at racking up 60% of this group. Of the group over 45, sadly enough, my best guess is that about 25% lived it, remember it, and would vote that numbskull back into office today. Astonishing, but true. These are the true-believers on the left. Facts don’t matter.
Another 25% of the over 45 crowd (just like any other group) isn’t paying attention, so they are fair game for a Carter II fraud.
Add it all up (generally) and you get the makings of a 53% win.
The under-45 crowd is now getting the political equivalent of on-the-job training. It’s going to be painful for them. They’re the ones suffering the job-losses and bleak prospects. Also, many of them will be called upon to go overseas and fight after Obama allows our enemies to get a march on us.
Ah, life experiences! These are the real world things of which Republicans are made. It warms my heart.
“SWJ” is talking about the process of how people—especially young people—might come to change their minds. The point the commenter is making boils down to the old saw about learning from experience. And although it’s true that reading about something in a book or newspaper, or learning about it in a classroom, and then filtering it through the idealistic and naive lens of youth, are all quite different things from actually living it, it’s also true that there’s a big difference between 1980 and now.
We are a full three decades further into a relentless takeover of our educational institutions and the press by the left. The younger generation of today has more indoctrination to undo before it can learn from its life experiences. And there’s no charismatic figure of the right on the order of Reagan coming down the pike, at least as far as I can see.
In addition, Obama himself seems to have a strong charismatic appeal to the young, something Jimmy Carter never came close to achieving. “Jimmy Carter” and “charismatic” are words that usually don’t appear in the same sentence. But since I was around when he was running for office, I’m able to say that I recall people having a great deal of hope that he’d be a breath of fresh air in Washington.
Carter was an outsider. He seemed smart. He appeared to demonstrate a real sense of humility as well as honesty. This all appealed greatly to a lot of people who’d been sickened by Watergate and exhausted by Vietnam and its battles, both foreign and domestic.
As commenter “SWJ” wrote, there are many people who would still vote for Carter I again. The more important question is: how many people are there who would (and will) vote for Carter II—Obama—again? It’s a long way till November of 2012, but we may get a hint this November, which is “only” five months from now.