Food Based Arguments

22Oct08

via Democracy in America:

IF HE wants it—and he shouldn’t—Barack Obama has a new campaign slogan: “I want pie!” That was the loudest chant at his rally yesterday in Downtown Miami. The chanters were not, of course, speaking literally. Though after sweating through hours of long lines and befuddled staff (you’d think they would know how to handle mass rallies a little better after campaigning with Mr Obama for so long), I wouldn’t blame them for wanting a little comfort food. No, indeed, the cheer was metaphorical, spurred by this line from Mr Obama: “Everyone here wants some pie. We want to grow the pie, and then get a piece of the pie.”

Mr Obama should have known better than to use such a clumsy metaphor. Of course, the flourish’s inelegance isn’t its only problem. Talk of redistributing the pie—spreading the filling around, say—might not be the image you want in voters’ minds as your opponent attacks you for being a socialist. Having a raucous crowd—almost all of whom make less than $250,000 a year (I know because Mr Obama asked)—scream, “I want pie!” back enthusiastically is even worse.

If I hear one more food based argument as to why either candidate shouldn’t be president, I’m going to be very disappointed in how far we’ve come as an issue-discussing electorate.

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