Passing on this excellent opinion piece by Chris Trulock.
Red and Blue have spoken, White would love some airtime…
Can we not conduct our political discourse with any dignity and self-respect anymore?
I am really unbelievably sick and tired of ‘right-wing nutjob fascist conservatives’ and ‘bleeding heart communist/socialist/nazi liberals.’
Grow a pair. You disagree with someone about politics? Fine.
That doesn’t give you the unalienable right to slap them into some sweeping generalization and dismiss all of their arguments. Can you spell a-d h-o-m-i-n-e-m?
Let’s play the comparison game, shall we?
I consider myself from the south. This means that everyone in the rest of the country, on any given issue, is wrong. They don’t understand what life is like here in the south, they haven’t lived it. I am right about the nature of war and honor and valor and political efficacy simply because I am Southern. Everyone else who calls themselves Southern agrees with me, and those dumb Northern City-folk have no idea what hard work really is…
Do you see the parallel? Look closer.
I’m German. Those American idiots have no idea how democracy actually works. Look at them, getting all worked up because a candidate doesn’t salute the flag the same way everyone else does. Do they even know the political policies of the people they vote for? Probably not, poor uneducated bastards.
Still not getting it?
Let me spell it out.
Politics do not consist of left and right, conservative and liberal, right and wrong. They consist of an obscene number of varying policies and standpoints on issues that may, or may not, even effect us.
I have a view on abortion. I’ll never have one, and in some minds I don’t have the right to make a judgment because of that. Is that correct? No. I have a functioning brain, so I’m entitled to my opinion.
That doesn’t mean my opinion is entitled to force its truth on others. What is right for me does not have to be right for Jane Smith.
In other news? The election is over.
Mccain lost. He conceded graciously. I respect him a great deal for that, despite his pathetic excuse for human-being audience that treated his concession more like a football game, to be booed and cheered inappropriately.
Obama won. By a large margin. By a *very* large margin. The election was not close, at all.
He gave Senator McCain a great deal of respect in his speech. He cited the great contributions McCain had made, both as a senator and as a soldier, and as a human being. I respect him for acknowledging that *before* he said a single word of thanks to anyone else. The people lording the victory over everyone else? No better than the booing crowd McCain had to silence.
Now, here’s the deal. We are not a loose collection of conservatives and liberals. Hell, most of the Founders hated the very thought of a party system. They felt it would divide and destroy the country.
I don’t know if any of you blind idiots have been paying attention for the last fifty years, but they were right.
Partisanship has given us great things. A deadlock in Congress, an inability to discuss politics like adults, an entire generation making judgments about other human beings based only on a political label (smack of racism/sexism to anyone else? It’s the same shit.)
We, as a country, will get nowhere if elections continue to remain as polar as this one.
Let it be an example that most, if not all of you, could not name either candidates major voting records or policy stances if you had to do so. You never asked.
But by all means, you have the right to vote based on your beliefs.
You can vote straight party tickets, as often as you like.
Perhaps you simply always agree with what the X party says, and the candidates they choose.
Or perhaps I could slap the label Conservative or Liberal on a pile of dog shit and you’d vote for it because you don’t know any better anymore.
Decide that for yourself.
As for me? I’m fucking ecstatic that voter turnout was so huge. We broke 60% of the electorate for the first time in the last…oh….50 years or more? Why is no one talking about THAT?
One step closer to a representative system. I don’t give a shit who won. Stop being children about it. The election is over. We, as a people, should demonstrate some support to the men and women that we, as a PEOPLE, elected to office.
I don’t care who you voted for, or why. We have a new president-elect, and a fair number of new congressmen/congresswomen. Support them, because they won fairly.
Support them, because no one will ever respect America until we demonstrate willingness to work with our system. You know, the one we all fairly firmly believe is the best in the world.
Support them, and criticize them, because you as a voter have the RIGHT to argue with them, to discuss policies with them; most of all, to COMMUNICATE with them. Your government should represent you. When it does not, you change the members of it, or force them to listen. You pay them for it.
If you have a problem with lobbying? If you have a problem with the liberal/conservative/moderate slant? If you just didn’t like that last bill that was up for debate? Try talking to a member of congress, instead of bitching about it to a group of sycophants.
The country will not survive on partisanship any more than without food or water.
As often as we quote, “United We Stand,” on our bumper stickers…we tend to neglect the outstanding warning that follows.
United We Stand. Divided, We Fall.
I’m not asking that everyone agree. That defeats the point.
I am asking that we all stop being nothing better than a group of bickering children.
Politics can advance this country, if they are done correctly. That is, without the use of sweeping generalizations and unfair labels. That is with the use of intelligent discourse and debate, that is with a spirit of cooperation.
Do you have something to say? Say it. That’s how our government is different, how it is better, how it works.
But then…do you actually have something constructive to say at all?
If not…please…for all of our sakes’…keep it to yourself for awhile. I, for one, am sick of the same old bullshit.