Noam Chomsky on the 2004 election



It is not very hard to see why mainstream America keeps belittling Noam Chomsky as an “extremist”:

“On the eve of the 2000 elections, about 75% of the electorate regarded it as a game played by rich contributors, party managers, and the PR industry, which trains candidates to project images and produce meaningless phrases that might win some votes. Very likely, that is why the population paid little attention to the ‘stolen election’ that greatly exercised educated sectors. And it is why they are likely to pay little attention to campaigns about alleged fraud in 2004. If one is flipping a coin to pick the King, it is of no great concern if the coin is biased.

“In 2000, ‘issue awareness’ - knowledge of the stands of the candidate-producing organizations on issues - reached an all-time low. Currently available evidence suggests it may have been even lower in 2004. About 10% of voters said their choice would be based on the candidate’s ‘agendas/ideas/platforms/goals’; 6% for Bush voters, 13% for Kerry voters (Gallup). The rest would vote for what the industry calls ‘qualities’ or ‘values,’ which are the political counterpart to toothpaste ads. The most careful studies (PIPA) found that voters had little idea of the stand of the candidates on matters that concerned them. Bush voters tended to believe that he shared their beliefs, even though the Republican Party rejected them, often explicitly. Investigating the sources used in the studies, we find that the same was largely true of Kerry voters, unless we give highly sympathetic interpretations to vague statements that most voters had probably never heard.” (my emphasis)

Needless to say, this essay about the 2004 election contains more useful information and meaningful analysis than anything else I’ve seen so far.