Friday, October 9, 2009

I fancy myself a Kennedy-Era Democrat...

these days. Because I just can't handle the increasingly polarized political climate that currently exists. It gives me a headache. It bugs me that those who were so apt to criticize anti-war protesting, etc. during the Bush administration are the ones now throwing tea parties and whining about the Obama administration. I'm not questioning the right to protest -- that is the beauty of this country -- we can and should voice our opinions and our concerns. I just have an issue with the hypocrites (on both sides of the spectrum) who only sanction certain behaviors when they have something to complain about; then, when their party is in "power" (whatever that means) they are quick to condemn those who disagree with their methodology and choose to protest. It literally makes no logical sense in my brain. None. Whatsoever.

What also makes no sense is when people listen to the opinions (yes, opinions, not facts) presented by money-grubbing pundits and accept them as the complete and utter truth. Sorry folks, Glenn Beck is first and foremost an entertainer. He makes millions for doing what he does best: sensationalizing and fear-mongering... and people buy it. They lap up every little droplet of libel and exaggeration and drink it in as if it were the water of the ever-lasting truth. That's as illogical as me saying that I think that The Daily Show is the most correct and politically adept show on television. It would be as logical as saying that I think that Jon Stewart knows all about the political realm and everything he says is amazing and correct. Think about it. Seriously. If I'm a moderate Republican like Colin Powell, I'm thinking I'd pretty much want to kill the extreme right and their puppets-- err, pundits-- because they keep alienating people within the party who want to have an open discussion with their counterparts and generate some positive change. Just the same as if I'm a moderate Democrat (like Obama maybe) who wants to clean up some messes and create an honest and open dialogue between parties.

I know the above statement is a tad on the acerbic side. But honestly, I feel like I am taking crazy pills sometimes when I try to rationally discuss a political issue, and all I get in response is info pulled from factually-challenged mass-emails or from factually-skewed pundits. I actually long for the days where I stared blankly at my Poly Sci 110 teacher when he asked me about how I felt about Scalia's appointment because I had no idea what he was talking about. Because now that I care, and now that I am educated on the issues at hand, it's too hard to talk about with someone whose opinions differ from my own. Because I usually get "facts" thrown at me that aren't actually facts... and my OCD can't take it.

I look at it like this:

So by now, most of you know that I am a die-hard Yankees fan. Have been straight out of the womb. I know the rotation, the line-up, have actually attended a game, etc. etc. Thus, I was also born to utterly loathe the Red Sox. And I do. Yet, when I come across a Red Sox fan who is a genuine fan, I respect him/her. I realize that I will never be able to change his/her affiliation, but I respect and admire the fact that s/he is as passionate a fan as I am. I respect his/her knowledge about the team and his/her devotion, which is mirrored in my own devotion to my team. Yet, there are some "band wagon" fans that are incorrigible. They are Red Sox fans merely because they hate the Yankees. There is no true love for the team, just for the confrontation and enmity that can result from an altercation.

This "band wagon" mentality has permeated the political landscape these days, and I can't stand it. Instead of crossing party lines and working together, most people are content to further polarize us as a nation. And that is what could eventually be our downfall. That we're so busy bickering and pandering to one side or the other, that nothing will get done. That people get too wrapped up in the name of the party, instead of what it stands for. This is why I am an Independent, because I honestly don't want to be directly affiliated with either party as of now.

But I guess if I had to choose, I'd be a Kennedy-Era Democrat. Shrug.


Ashley said...

Well I hope you aren't talking about me...I don't think you are because I really can't stand Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Hannity or Coulter or any of those arrogant stuffed suits-even if and when I happen to share their opinions.

What you are talking about though, however irritating, is why the United States is a stable if not inefficient government: Because we have a two party system where people argue so vehemently and passionately, it is very difficult to get anything (ie, health care) done quickly, which I think prevents us, at least in most cases, from making rash and less than thoroughly thought out decisions.

So yes it is annoying, slow-going, divisive, and often incendiary. But it's a lot better than anything else out there.

lauren said...

agreed. and well said, might i add.

Eliza said...

Ho boy, it is ridiculous how instantly heated and closed-minded a conversation gets these days at the mere mention of anything political.

And it's true, most people (myself not entirely excluded) aren't educated beyond the kool-aid they guzzle down from Hannity, Beck, or whoever because if you don't passionately care to educate yourself it's a whole lot easier to just lap up what the talking heads are telling you, the sound bites of the issue. It takes a whole lot more work to get the facts and most people are just lazy.

Abby said...

So I'm a replublican, but I find it pretty hard to believe that President Obama wants to hurt people or mess up our country.

And I'm so with you on the Glenn Beck thing. Gag.