Why must political “debate” always amount to little more than “I know you are but what am I?” I don’t regularly read a lot of purely political blogs. I’m seeing more politics on some mixed or mostly non-political blogs and I’ve been reading quite a lot of the articles linked on Yahoo’s editorials page.
The comments on even the most civilized blog posts can get very ugly. Don’t dare express disagreement with the local majority. No matter how politely you state your opinion they’ll immediately circle the wagons and bring out the virtual spears and flame throwers. In any political discussion there’s always someone who’s childish and unreasonable. You can’t ever just state a simple opinion without being expected to almost write a 500 page research paper in support of your position and if you can’t, well then your opinion is not valid and you’re an idiot, a hypocrite and a troll. No matter how polite you were. Moderates can’t comment either. Moderates are always seen as being on the “other side.”
Each side has its core group of supporters who think their candidate will be the Savior of America and the other candidate is the Anti-Christ but according to each group it is only the other side who thinks that way and it’s everyone on the other side not just the core group of wackos. This is all about turning people off the other candidate, making people think, “I don’t want to be one of those guys” and, sadly, it often works.
Here’s the truth, folks. Yes, I’m using that big scary word, “truth”, not just my truth but the truth. Both candidates are politicians and human beings. Neither one is anything like a messiah. All politicians are ambitious or else they wouldn’t be where they are now. All politicians have done things that seemed right or were expedient at the time but which later they would rather bury if they could. All politicians have associated with certain people who end up being a political embarrassment later. All politicians have made deals in order to accomplish their goals. Yes, some are worse than others but no politician is saintly.
The same kids who were taunting, “I know you are but what am I?” and “nanny-nanny-boo-boo” on the playground are still at it as adults. They’ll never change but we don’t have to listen to them. Do not believe anything that kind of person says about any candidate. Don’t let them sway you. Do your own research and make up your own mind.
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I bookmarked this editorial by Mike Rose almost two weeks ago but haven’t gotten around to commenting on it like I planned. Ever notice how even when they’re being nice Blue-staters are nearly always condescending? I live right in the middle of Red-state America in one of the reddest states of all and honestly, the reputation is somewhat deserved. There are a lot of people out here who are as dumb as rocks. But there are also some very intelligent people here – blue collar and white collar – and not just in a keeping-all-the-orders-straight kind of way. There are people who really have a good understanding of important issues and larger questions concerning the way the world works.
The important point that Blue-staters miss is not that a lot people in flyover country are as intelligent as they are; it’s that a lot of Blue-staters are at least as stupid as Red-staters, just in a different way. Their ignorance of human nature is shocking. They believe that with enough laws, enough redistribution of wealth, enough diplomacy, and enough trashing of American mainstream culture, we can reverse global warming, end hunger and disease, stop people from killing each other and create something close to heaven on Earth. And the most stupid thing of all – they apparently think that talking about how stupid the opposition is will help them accomplish all these things.
Now I know there’s probably someone out there who is thinking, “If you feel that way why on Earth would you vote for a Democrat?” It’s because candidates are almost never as wacko as their most wacko supporters and I posted some of my reasons a while back. Another reason is balance. We need to move a little to the Left so things won’t go too far to the Right. After (if) we have a Democrat in the White House for eight years chances are good that I’ll be ready for the Republicans to take control again for a while.
I think no matter who wins in November there will be change – some good changes and some not so good changes. And America as a whole will be okay. For most of us politics is a spectator sport and not our favorite one. Whatever happens in Washington we just go on living our lives the best we can with only minor adjustments to accommodate changes in the world.