I'm off on holiday for two weeks. Turkey, since you ask. Normally intermittent service will resume some time around Sept. 20th.
In the meantime...
There's a bit of a discussion going on about the role of culture/personality in elections. Do we vote based on principles, ideas, policies, evidence? Or are we, in fact, more swayed by character, personality and charisma? Do we, at bottom, want someone "just like us" in charge? (After all, we all know we'd do a great job of making the right decisions.) Do these things matter more if we believe ourselves or even our "way of life" to be under attack? If we want to promote a certain ideology, or even culture (say, rational liberalism) do we do it best by attacking our opponent's culture (say, small town Christian conservatism) or by reaching out to the middle ground? Is reaching for the middle ground just a long-winded way of surrendering the argument?
Questions, questions. We'll get an answer in November. Compare the personality-based attacks on Obama here with Obama's attack on McCain's. One shows respect, the other goes for the throat. Which will work?