One year in college, I had a roommate who liked to talk about the implications of the idea of the “multiverse”—the existence of multiple universes—and the often accompanying theory of trans-world identity, which holds that probability suggests that these different universes likely contain identical objects. My roommate would explain that there was probably another planet out there with identical people in it, but they could be expected to react to the same events and stimuli in ways wholly different from us—a sort of bizarro Earth.
I couldn’t help thinking of that roommate’s expositions when I read the New York Times’s explanation of why Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate and how that changes the election. The Times writes:
In the midst of an election in which few voters have not already taken sides, he is now running a campaign more focused on energizing an anti-Obama coalition than on trying to expand the universe of Romney voters with an argument that he is the most qualified economic steward….
Persuasion, especially on the Republican side, has given way to partisan stimulation. A sharp focus on the economy is giving way to ideology and personality.