Quote: “If I lose because I didn’t go negative, so be it.” Martha Rainville, Republican congressional candidate in Vermont, in USA Today.
Figure of Speech: eunoia (yoo-NOY-ah), disinterested good will. From the Greek, meaning “well mind.”
The state that produced Howard Dean is a lot more sensible than you might think. Vermont also once boasted George Aiken, a Republican senator who spent $17.09 on his last reelection and complained about the expense.
Times haven’t changed that much in the Green Mountain State. Martha Rainville is challenging Peter Welch, a popular Democrat who calls Rainville “a really good speaker.” The Republican lieutenant governor says “We’re really proud of both” Welch and Rainville. This is one really, really nice state.
Rainville proves her own niceness with an expression of eunoia, a combination of disinterest (independent of special interests) and benevolence toward the audience. We’ve so lost the concept of disinterest that we mistake the word for “uninterest.” But in Aristotle’s book, eunoia is one of the three essential tools to boost one’s public image. (The other two are phronesis and virtue.) A great way to pump up your eunoia level is with an expression of self sacrifice, as in, “This will hurt me more than it will hurt you.”
We’re guessing that no Vermonter will be harmed in this production. And the nation will be the better for it.
Snappy Answer: “Martha, you’re no loser.”