Friday, November 19, 2010

Stupid Elections

I've been taking some time to mull over the election results a couple weeks ago.  As my reader may have guessed, I'm just a tad liberal.  Funny thing, where I grew up in Iowa, my political views were considered middle-of-the-road.  My views have not particularly changed.  In Arizona, I'm labelled "ultra-liberal."  I don't even know what that is.  Then again, I lived in Iowa in another millenium.  Maybe things have changed.


Of course, in Maricopa County, AZ, we're stuck with Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  That hasn't changed since the last millenium.  Weird.

 I was very annoyed with the advertising various candidates indulged in this year.  Disgraceful.  They're usually pretty bad.  This year they seemed particularly heinous.  Worse than 2008.

In fact, many of them here appeared to be lies.  Yes, you can interpret data different ways.  Sadly, many of these lies had everything to do with hate and anger and nothing to do with data interpretation.

And this worries me.  Politics and lies will, of course, always be inseparable.  I suspect that political discourse could be hitting all-time lows.  I checked with my Mom (age 74) and she sure-Lord don't remember it being like this even during McCarthyism.






While the internet, with all its sharing and posting and whatnot, certainly spreads nice or nasty stuff at lightspeed, it's good 'ol tv and radio that are fueling the flames. 


Spreading lies, false accusations and innuendo  inspires fear and anger.  Fear and anger inspire inappropriate action.  While most inappropriate action has stayed in the mudslinging stage,  how long before someone takes a terrible action because they were acting on these lies, false accusations, and innuendo?




Quite frankly, folks, I'm a bit unnerved about this whole thing.   Since when is it ok to divide the country?  OK, there was the whole Civil War thing.  But other than that, how the hell is this OK? 

Most of us are just regular Joes.  Compared to the rest of the population, only a select few are actually out there following media marching orders.  And yet media coverage of those select few makes it seem like the views of that select few are more generally accepted than they are. 

I suspect our country would be better off if we just sat down, shut up, and listened to what is not being said.



What, you ask, is not being said?  AHA!  Here are some things that are not being said.  Just off the top of my head:

The more sensational things you say, the more attention you get.

The more attention you get, the more your ego gets stroked

The more your ego gets stroked, the higher the chance is that you'll someday see yourself as Emperor of  the Land of I'mincharge.

The more attention paid to pundits who stoke emotional fires, the better ratings they get.

The better the ratings, the greater the number of advertisers.

The greater the number of advertisers the higher the profit

The higher the profit, the higher the pay for the pundit

The higher the pay for the pundit, the higher the chance he or she will continue to do the same thing over and over.

The higher the pay for the pundit, the more likely we'll all become peons in the Land of Worldofshit.

So here's my deal.  Let us reason together*.  I know, I know, I know.  It's asking a lot.  We would actually have to sit together and be civil.  We'd have to respectfully listen to one another.  We'd have to take the painful step of looking at our own beliefs and behavior in light of information and opinions from many sides of an issue.  Who knows?  We just might enjoy it.



  *This idea is null and void in the presence of Chuck Norris. 

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