Sunday, May 29, 2011

More political demonization thoughts

Sometimes, it amazes me how people see each other, particularly when it comes to politics. And, I will preface before I go further that I am absolutely certain this is nothing new but the speed with which things are spread via the internet simply allows this sort of vitriol and negative stereotypes to perpetrate themselves with lightning speed. And, for the purpose of this post, I will limit myself to US politics as that is what I am most familiar with. The general stereotype is that Republicans are social and fiscal conservatives, often deeply religious and strongly supportive of the military and financial responsibility. For Democrats, it is the belief that they are borderline communists whose belief in greater government interaction with society is for the betterment of all and who prefer that the rich should be taxed more heavily to support the poor and downtrodden in society who cannot do for themselves.

It should be pretty obvious to anyone who has read this blog for any period of time that I do not belong to either of these political parties as I tend to despise them pretty equally for different reasons. The one thing I dislike is hypocrisy and I strive hard not to be that way in my own life. However, it seems impossible to be involved with any sort of political activity and not become hypocritical at some point. Republicans, to me, are hypocritical based on their "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude, particularly galling for a group that positions themselves as the more "moral" party based on their increasingly religious credentials (and when I say religious, I am referring more to Christian). Correspondingly, Democrats gall me for their attitude of being the more "elitist" party who thinks they know all of the answers and can implement them if only the government were granted more power to do so - in spite of the mountain of evidence through history that indicates that increased power with government usually does not provide for anything to society other than the desire for more power for those who already have it. But this does not stop either party from stooping to various lows to denigrate their opponents for transgressions while ignoring their own. Perhaps this is why so many people outside of the political beltway try to ignore it.

So what has ignited this particular post? The following comment came through my Twitter feed recently and it just irked me a little.

If you slotted Hitler into the current Republican presidential field he’d be a moderate.

Obviously, it is posted by someone with Democratic leanings. But how is it ok for Democrats (the supposed peace party - their current president probably excluded) to make these associations? Or, for that matter, how is it ok for Republicans to paint Obama as anything from Lenin to Stalin to Mao to Hitler (individuals whose only comparable feature was that they were all dictators within the last century)? And, frankly, how does this sort of discourse allow for any sort of rational compromise to occur that will benefit the nation as a whole? It often seems like the entire point of politics today is nothing more than a race to see who will finish first regardless of the consequences. And the deteriorating state of society that seems very evident to any who wish to see it is the sad result. It is not the fault of the Democrats or the Republicans, it is the fault of both and a society that happily allows itself to be fooled into thinking that it is someone else's fault in order to avoid blame unto themselves. I only hope that we will wake up one day to recognize that we are the ones who have to take action if we hope to avoid falling into third world status in the next generation.


  1. I'm glad that got a rise out of someone :)

  2. Yeah, Alex, just a little rise. And I've been no less forgiving of my many friends on the other side of the political aisle who send stupid emails about how our president is evil, the devil, a communist or some wild combination of the above - all backed up with "facts" that can be easily disproved with a simple Google search. *sigh*

  3. I'm surprised you're the only person I've seen react. But glad at least one other person found it ridiculous.

    And since when is the president not a communist?

  4. Most people don't react for one of several reasons. They don't care because politics is how I described it earlier; they don't respond because they are of the same opinion and see no need to be a ditto-head (forgive the pun); they never see it because they don't want to see it. Take your pick. :)