Mike’s Prattle

Miscellaneous

Visualization in Politics

Posted by Mike on October 2, 2008

Visualization is one of the great tools of the occultist or mystic. Basically it’s the imagining of something in your mind’s eye and is a practical technique in Yoga. One of the basics of some forms of meditation is to hold/visualize symbols in one’s mind eye, an extraordinarily difficult thing to do and a skill that needs development. It’s important in developing one’s focus and will. However this is more the direction that one’s advancement in visualization takes and the effects of even preliminary practice is found to be useful.

For instance, it’s well know Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, as far back as his many championships with the Chicago Bulls, teaches his players to visualize before games, visualizing winning the game, making shots etc. Where it would be too simple to say that visualization is the main reason he won as many championships as he has, I do think it’s certainly an important piece, along with the triangle offense, not being overdominant of his players etc.

Visualization is now a technique being used by the Obama campaign. This started with the recent advertisement where it imagines McCain winning the presidency. It’s a very powerful ad, maybe more so than those with explanatory material. And Michele Obama in Colorado yesterday was also exhorting the crowd to visualize what it would be like if Obama won. There’s no doubt in my mind there’s been a concerted effort to use this technique, one I’m sure the Palin supporters think is witchcraft.

Personally I’ve been getting this feeling that the Obama campaign is a much more powerful unit than it’s even given credit for. There’s a rising hysteria on the right now as the polls in many battleground states are going for Obama and the attacks are getting more fierce. The Obama campaign shows no sign of panic at all and managed to make it out of the first debate countering McCain’s “you just don’t understand” attack by demonstrating how Obama actually does understand, while Obama seems to be successful with the same attack on the trail (“McCain doesn’t get it.”)

Since the 2000 and 2004 elections, Democrats are falling all over themselves worrying about this election being stolen from them, and in the case of an October Surprise it’s true that anything can happen. But I’ve been finding myself on the other side of the argument. I’m really starting to get the impression that the Obama campaign is a lot better than it’s ever given credit for. Democrats want Obama to get fiercer (for example Maher on The Daily Show this week), but I think they know what they’re doing by not going on that direction. Democrats think Bill Clinton isn’t doing enough for the campaign, I think that’s dreadfully overstated. To my eyes there seems to be a concerted effort to try and give the Republicans as much visibility as possible, so that the differences between the two campaigns become clearer and clearer.

And of course the VP debate tonight. Just watch. The expectations game are almost that Palin really has little chance of losing this one due to her opponent and Alaskan debating past. My prediction is the Democrats will manage, yet again, to come out of this one virtually unscathed with the moderate vote (it’ll be a “tie” again). Because Biden doesn’t have to win this debate, he just needs to come out of it without making a major mistake. And I think people will be surprised at the supposed gaffe-ster tonight. I think this campaign is just too smart for that.

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