“How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him”

It’s always nice, now and then, to remind people in the press and in academia of Pauline Kael’s famous (or infamous) quote referring to George McGovern’s loss to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. Apparently, it is a misquote, but I don’t think that it matters all that much.

The fact is that too many people in the press and in academia live in a leftist cultural bubble. This bubble made many people blind to Trump’s favoritism in the last US presidential election. The same bubble is happening in Brazil now, where journalists and political analysts are disconcerted by Jair Bolsonaro’s favoritism in the October elections.

The fact is that people in different social circles have different Overton windows. Created by Joseph P. Overton, the Overton window, or the window of discourse, describes the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse. But by “public” many people consider only their close social circle. People grow up in specific neighborhoods, go to specific universities, work in specific places, and are never or rarely exposed to different thoughts. And this is not entirely accidental. Cultural Marxism (Gramsci and Frankfurt School) want to create a cultural hegemony of the left, making sure that alternative discourse is thrown out of the acceptable range of ideas.

The result is a lot of Pauline Kaels.

5 thoughts on ““How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him”

  1. “Apparently, it is a misquote, but I don’t think that it matters all that much.”

    The quote is the pretext of your entire post and the closest thing to hard evidence you have, but the fact that Kael never said it doesn’t matter much? Weird…

    Furthermore, you conflate disconcertment with a lack of understanding. But these are not the same. One can understand something while still being disconcerted by it. This is particularly likely to be true of journalists, who speak to people from a wide variety of backgrounds as part of their profession (and thus are less likely, as a group, to face the Overton window problem that you bring up).

  2. So you KNOW she never said anything like that, but you’re going to repeat the lies anyway? Really? So reality doesn’t matter. Sounds like a typical Republican platform plank.

    So you’re going to ignore all the similar people in the rightwing fauxnews bubble that think that there’s no way Biden could have won, because nobody they know voted for him? Or is that different because you want to pretend it is?

    Yes, the ideas of white supremacists, Christian theocrats and other neoliberal tyrants should be removed from the range of acceptable ideas. Just like the idea of the ‘aether’ as the medium through which em-waves propagate was thrown out of the realm of scientific ideas for lack of evidence.

Please keep it civil

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s