The Politics of Understanding

Ross speaks of "the limits of what Steve Sailer likes to call Obama's 'I have understood you' appeal to people with whom he disagrees. It's an approach to politics that's sustainable only up till the moment when platitudes have to give way to actual policymaking, and as such it has the capacity to breed even greater disillusionment with government (by raising expectations and then dashing them) than the up-front partisanship it seeks to vanquish."

That sounds to me like the kind of thing a liberal would have said before getting pummeled by Ronald Reagan. Realistically, the number of people who have any awareness of "actual policymaking" is pretty tiny and I think most people mostly want to stay in the dark. People want to put in office people who they feel understand them and then forget about it. That's why you see so much identity-driven voting, and that's why an ability to make a large circle of people believe that you understand them is such a vital political skill.