Warning: this blog post is political in nature. It’s not meant to change anyone’s mind nor take sides for any given issue or political party. It’s merely a response to (and an example of) what I feel is wrong with our eroding democratic system.
Today on Facebook, I read what I thought was a very uneducated point of view on the Republican party. The post went as follows:
The GOP has one solid idea, don’t spend more than you bring in, and even they don’t stick to it. Other ideas in the republican platform: No gay marriage- fail. No unions- fail. No programs to help struggling middle class and poor Americans- fail. No healthcare for the working poor and the just plain poor- fail. Let them die- fail. Pro-God, Pro-gun, Pro-war, Pro-death penalty, Pro-life? WTF. They aren’t really a party, they’re a punchline.
There are several things inherently wrong with that post.
First and foremost, they’re opinions. Strongly worded opinions that basically leave no room for interpretation. These types of generalizations – be in in politics or other areas of life – are what lead to stereotypes and misunderstandings. In this case, it just adds to the poisonous political climate that’s tearing this country apart.
Secondly, those thoughts fail to take into account something that has helped make this a great country and that’s the diversity of ideas. Just because one may not agree with, or believe in, the same ideas as another doesn’t make that other person wrong.
Third, Republicans (the elected officials) don’t always believe in, or vote, what their party tells them. A Democrat can be “pro-gun” just as much as a Republican can be for extending unemployment benefits to people who’ve been out of work for 18 months or more. It’s not always black-and-white.
Believe it or not, there is a lot of overlap between what each party as well as the representatives within each party stand for. Last Summer on some CNN quiz, the results showed that my political beliefs were around 88% similar to President Obama’s and around 70% with Mitt Romney. Some people would have you think it should be 100% to 0% every time.
Finally, for now, those words fail to address flaws in the Democratic party (which presumably this person supports). The Democrats need to shoulder just as much blame for what’s happening (or not happening as it may be) in Washington as the Republicans. No one even remotely approaches being squeaky clean here.
For now I’ll repeat what I’ve often said in the past: we the people are idiots. Voting straight party ticket is ruining this country. Candidates often find themselves running for a party where they know they have the best shot at winning. NOT at representing the people or making a difference. But winning. (And perhaps lining their pockets a long the way.)
All else becomes inconsequential.
There are obviously a lot of people, with a lot of opinions, and a near infinite number of ways their so-called ‘message’ can be spread. Unfortunately a lot of it leads to an environment where people either believe everything they see or don’t believe any of it. They became die-hard fanatics or rigid skeptics.
And somewhere, the truth becomes irrelevant.