Last Updated:November 27 @ 10:50 am

Shapiro: The Feelings Convention

By Ben Shapiro

If the Republican National Convention was all about the numbers -- unemployment numbers, deficit numbers, tax rates -- the Democratic National Convention thus far has been all about feelings. The keynote address on Tuesday night was delivered by Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, who proclaimed that numbers didn't matter -- Barack Obama was the only candidate who could "multiply" individual success. And the capper of the evening went to Michelle Obama, who boldly stated, "I've seen how the issues that come across a president's desk are always the hard ones -- the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer."

When it comes to economics, of course, this is bull. Numbers generally dictate the right answer. Tax rates dictate how hard people will work and how much they will be penalized for working. Spending dictates tax rates. Unionization rates and minimum wage dictate hiring practices. And so on.

But Michelle Obama wants us to eschew numbers, because numbers don't favor her husband. Instead, she wants us to recapture the feelings we had for President Barack Obama. "Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago," she intoned. And because she loves him, we must.

Her plea for her incompetent husband focused on his feelings, too. He may be a terrible president, she seemed to argue, but he cares. "That's the man I see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him. ... I see the concern in his eyes ... and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, 'You won't believe what these folks are going through, Michelle ... it's not right. We've got to keep working to fix this. We've got so much more to do."

But doing the wrong thing is worse than doing nothing. And Obama has done the wrong thing. When caring trumps logic, when feelings trump reason, we get rotten governance.

The Obama team is hoping that we overlook the rotten governance in favor of the wellspring of feeling Democrats so clearly have. That's why they've painted Mitt Romney as an uncaring, unfeeling management type. Sure, he may cut the budget. Sure, he may lower taxes. But does he care?

Obama combines the appeal of Clintonian politics with the failure of Carterism. That's a tension that will be difficult to bridge. But it's also a test of the American people. Will they buy into the feelings? Or will they opt out of the record?

Michelle Obama and company are clearly hoping that the feelings will trump the record. And they had better. That's why they're campaigning on fear and falsifying Obama's "unifying" tone and tenor. If they can manipulate the emotions of the American people, they will win. If the American people apply common sense, they will lose.


Ben Shapiro, 28, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles, and Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News. He is the four-time bestselling author of "Primetime Propaganda."


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  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    September 6, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    “Barack Obama was the only candidate who could “multiply” individual success.” What did they say???

    Obama has only “multiplied” our taxes and “multiplied” our problems by “multiplying” governemnt and their opressive laws. He has “subtracted” our wealth by “dividing” our nation exponentailly and “added” nothing but infinite debt. This is the true meaning of the American math he and his party offer.

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  2. JDZComment by JDZ
    September 6, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

    When the Dems see themselves losing, they then pull out their perceived trump cards to play which include abortion rights, immigration, healthcare for women, fair pay for women, taking care of the poor and the senior citizens, etc. and avoid any of the critical issues like unemployment, the deficit, the national debt, the cost of gasoline, etc. that are killing them in this election cycle.

    The Dems bring out the “big dog” in Bill Clinton to attempt to convince voters to stick with Obama because Obama is in trouble on his own. This is desperation as they are hoping that if Clinton is now supporting Obama (privately, he does not like Obama and thinks he is an amateur) that this will pull in votes from the undecided, and many(MSM pundits) think the Clinton speech has won the election for Obama. Clinton is a smooth talking politician, however, Obama is not Bill Clinton, and has been a dismal failure as President and there is no talking round it. It is like saying that an inexperienced heart surgeon who keeps making mistakes and killing patients and that the number being killed is going down, so we should just let him keep operating and he will eventually get to a level,where his patients will stop dying.

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  3. americanjoeComment by americanjoe
    September 10, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    Good article, it really sums up what I have been saying for years. Liberal Democrats have been using “emotions” and “feelings” to get votes for years. While the Conservative Republicans use facts and numbers to get votes. I’ve always been a facts and numbers kind of guy.

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