a reader’s guide to decision 2012

if you’re anything like me (a reasonably well-read person who gets visibly excited when the president of the united states addresses the public), then you probably also tuned in to the state of the union and heard the president of the united states say on tuesday night that “anyone who tells you that america is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”  and then you immediately thought to yourself, “wtf.”

president obama is well known/regarded/maligned for his excellent oratorical skills.  so where the hell that line came from, i don’t know—but i sure as fuck hope he has polling data to show that voters in pennsylvania would respond well to that sort of playground bluster.  and the thing is, he probably does.

in any case, that odd/juvenile bit of phrasing got me wondering about what sort of political rhetoric appeals to me vs. my fellow americans, as well as the sort of things i like to read vs. my fellow americans’ taste in literature.  for example: i completely geek out about delillo; lots of my countrymen & women work themselves into a lather over dan brown & teenage wizards wearing color-coordinated scarves.  so i did some quick google searches to dig up speech transcripts from a few of the leading presidential candidates in 2012, then i plugged them into i write like to see if there were any interesting outcomes i could hastily assemble into a blog post, if not an actual voter’s guide (since you’ll likely learn as much here as you will from any televised debate sponsored by the likes of facebook).  here are my results:

based on his “more perfect union” speech (a.k.a. “the race speech”) in philadelphia on march 18, 2008:
president obama talks like h.p. lovecraft writes.

based on his foreign policy speech at the citadel in october 2011:
former governor mitt romney talks like kurt vonnegut writes.

based on his value voters summit speech in october 2011:
former pizza impresario herman cain talks like david foster wallace writes.

based on his CPAC speech in february 2011:
former speaker of the house newt gingrich talks like gertrude stein writes.

based on his CPAC speech in february 2011:
former ayn rand idol ron paul talks like william gibson writes.

 

all i can say to these highly scientific findings is… that sounds about right.  but feel free to do your own analyses and post results in the comments.  i’m curious what ya’all will come up with.

also, for the record, i don’t know what h.p. lovecraft writes like, either.  but now i feel like i kinda have to check that shit out.  right?  and if any of those republicans take the white house, it looks like we’re gonna be in for four seriously bizarre years.  seriously bizarre.

 

3 Responses to “a reader’s guide to decision 2012”

  1. Jonathan Frey says:

    I think that the text analyzer might have been assuming Herman Cain was being ironic. Which, of course, he wasn’t.

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