Posts Tagged ‘Arguing’

The Polarized States of America

Friday, October 10th, 2008

I was hoping to avoid going on political topics in the beginning, giving a variety of views, but what can we say? We’re dead in the throngs of political madness, with voting less then 30 days away. And unfortunately, I made one of the biggest mistakes of the recent past: I joined

How is this a mistake you might ask? It’s a discussion site with more gang-mentality comments then discussion. The most active arguments are on the political topics, and they are nothing short of arguments. There are people on both sides with no knowledge of the situations except for the title of the links and the occasional video. Liberals and conservatives describing their politician as beyond error. Democrats and republicans describing the opposing party as idiots for only listening to their side’s propaganda. And then third party followers who believe that if they tell people both major candidates are the same dirty pigs, they’ll convert people into voting third party. I’ve seen comments on there that range from childish to annoying to stupid to vile to boring to just down right unintelligent. And then once in a while I see a comment that looks at both sides of the issue and makes a valid or at least well thought out point for one side, and those comments most often get buried orĀ mocked.

So whats the point, you might ask? Most voters are mostly uninformed you say? But why? This is an ironic sort of country, filled with counter-intuitive, almost opposing views/desires. The first is the English language. Common, has there ever been a more convoluted language? There’s also this desire to be inanely free, maintaining rights, while having national and personal security. There’s the strong isolationist urge to keep away from the rest of the world while at the same time to be the saviors for the rest of the world, take what we need, and give nothing back (that doesn’t help us). And of course, there is the odd nationalistic pride, defining America as the greatest unified country on the planet, yet ridiculing anyone who has a viewpoint that doesn’t quite match up.

Two party politics

Two party politics

Truth is, two party politics suck. Nothing is black and white, nothing is a or b. Having two major parties means if you don’t agree with either side, you can choose to use your vote on a third party that has no chance of ever winning, or not vote, which is also frowned upon. But the system is too far ingrained for a third party to ever come to power. Not until the other two parties do something EXTREMELY terrible. Truth is, the two party system, along with how diverse America is, and the state of human psychology and American sociology, tears people apart. I have not seen comments so vicious as I do on political debate discussions. And most of the time, its because people are too blinded to party lines to see what they’re truly writing about. They’re confounded with acceptance of ideas that they would probably dismiss or discard on non-political topics. XKCD said it best. I’ve heard people say terrorism is un-American, but secessionist desires are the independence America was founded on. I’ve heard people say that the bailout is our road to socialism and communism, but public works are important.

Truth is politics brings out the worst in people. And sometimes it brings out the worst people. I don’t think a country will ever be well off until it brings intelligence to its highest ranks, and not necessarily political intelligence. I believe, that with the right backing, an academic or scientist, would make a better political leader. A “common Joe” would make a better political leader. But these people are often smart enough to realize that politics are too convoluted for a single person to significantly effect. Even if a guy off the street made it to President, you have all of congress, and every other level to compete with. And yet, people are outraged by how politicians behave but mock any of the “common folk” who make a stab at it. Politics is a dark color in the spectrum of civility. And quite a few people are waiting for change. Unfortunately, no one is willing to step up to it. And I think I’ll be laying off Digg for now. I’m not sure any of us really wanna listen to some of those comments… and I’m not sure I can afford to lose that much faith in humanity.