September 16, 2004


The Gollum voters (Paul Lewis, September 13, 2004, Boston Globe)

THE CONVENTIONAL wisdom about the American electorate -- that all but a tiny minority of voters have made up their minds -- misses the deep ambivalence plaguing many Bush and Kerry supporters, an ambivalence that characterizes what we might call their Gollum mindset. The reference is to the villainous character in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, played by Andy Serkis in the celebrated Peter Jackson films of the past few years.

By the time Gollum appears in "The Hobbit," he has been the possessed possessor of the dark ring for centuries during which he both worshipped it as his "precious" and recoiled in horror from some of its evil promptings. In the trilogy, even as his better side (Smeagol) tries to help his new master Frodo carry the ring to the fires of Mount Doom where it can be destroyed, his dark side (Gollum) urges him to kill Frodo and take back the ring.

As Bush and Kerry shift to the bland center of US politics looking for every last vote in the Shire, they count on their bases for support, hoping that the alienation they engender will not push loyalists away. But, haunted by the resisting voices of ideological clarity, these loyalists find themselves wondering more and more whether they will have the strength and willpower to hold onto their preference all the way to November and, against counter promptings of disgust and disappointment, vote for their candidate.

NOBODY LIKES HIM (DICK MORRIS, September 15, 2004, NY Post)
The Fox News poll asked Kerry supporters if their vote for the Democrat could best be described as motivated by support for Kerry (41 percent) or by opposition to Bush (51 percent). By contrast, Bush voters emphatically say, by 82-13, that they are voting for the president rather than against the challenger.

Republicans more resemble Samwise Gamgee.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 16, 2004 11:48 AM

Reminds me of the "Frodo failed, Bush has the ring" tshirts that I have seen occasionally.

Posted by: AWW at September 16, 2004 12:43 PM

Ever notice a certain family resemblance between Gollum and James Carville?

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Mike Morley at September 16, 2004 1:14 PM

Well, if you are into that sort of thing, Carville did work for Sauron. And her husband.

Posted by: ratbert at September 16, 2004 1:24 PM

>Reminds me of the "Frodo failed, Bush has the
>ring" tshirts that I have seen occasionally.

No, the guy over at Eject! Eject! Eject! says that Sauron got the Ring in '68, when the counterculture hit critical mass.

But Gore still crouches over his picture of the White House, stroking it and crooning "My Precious... Stole It from Us, He did... BUSH! WE HATES IT! WE HATES IT FOREVER!!!!!!!"

Gollum, gollum...

Posted by: Ken at September 16, 2004 3:24 PM