Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Pre- Election Political Polarized Prattle

Monday, November 01, 2004

Pre- Election Political Polarized Prattle

If there's one thing I've noticed by cruising around and reading other people's political blogs, it's that they're all so very patronizing when it comes to different opinions. Television talking heads are expected to be this way, but everyday people are amazingly pugnacious right now.

Bush supporter: You're with us or you're against us. You're not patriotic if you don't vote for us. John Kerry is Osama's best friend. We're going to be attacked if you don't re-elect Bush. Liberals are dreaming idiots who have no idea what the real world is like.

Kerry supporter: You're going to be drafted if Bush wins. You're an uneducated idiot if you vote for him. Religious people are stupid bigots. If you vote for Bush, there's something wrong with you. I'm going to yell at you until you realize the error of your ways.

I think the interesting thing is this: My dad is a Republican. Lots of my friends are Kerry supporters, but I have others that are staunch conservatives. I'm a (lower-case d) democrat, a "liberal" and independent. Yet we all get along. We get along because we respect each others' points of view, and believe they are just that: Points of view.

A friend isn't stupid because he doesn't believe Kerry can deliver on every single promise. A relative isn't unpatriotic because he doesn't agree with Bush on the Iraq war. And I'm not stupid for believing that America is a great country, but is made so by a constant re-evaluation of principles, and by consistently striving to make this land a better place and a truer democracy, rather than being simply content, blindly nationalistic, and afraid of change.

Even when I read about the latest condemnation of homosexuality by the religious right, I have to remind myself that people are entitled to their opinion, despite the fact that I strongly disagree with it.

No matter who wins this election, this country is going to have to find a way to get along. Each polarized half is going to have to talk with the other. If we can't talk with some kind of civility; if we can't have discussions without calling someone with other beliefs 'stupid' or 'liars' or 'traitors'; if we can't treat each other as Americans, then there's not much of a point for being one nation.

No one votes the 'wrong way' if they believe in their vote. If someone votes a certain way, and they believe in their vote, then I say "good for them". If someone says I'm stupid for believing in what I do, then I say "fuck 'em". And if someone tries to disenfranchise or void my vote, I say "I'll kick their ass".

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