Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bipartisan Politics of Meanness, Part II

In part I, I mentioned how vicious individuals can be, when confronting political ideas that differ from their own. Individuals aren't the only mean entities out there. So are political parties, and so are the candidates. All candidates. Doesn't matter if they are red or blue.

Nearly all accusations of spin-doctoring, waffling, lying, are all universally true about any candidate. They outright lie. It's a sad, though true situation. Just do a search of "fact check" and you'll turn it up plenty of examples on both sides. It always puzzles me, when I hear someone accuse a candidate of these things, and then give these problems as reasons why the candidate is a bad choice for office -- their own candidate can also be accused of these things, too. And the accusations would be true. For both of them.

I don't hold such behavior against candidates particularly, because that's what they have to do to get elected. If one candidate ran a friendly campaign, never spun anything to their advantage, they would lose. Because fear-mongering is EFFECTIVE.

Actually, I guess I do hold it against them, but against all of them. I just don't use those things when making my decision, because I'd never vote for anyone at all if I did, and I do think we should vote.

But I would like to propose something radical. Lets make fear-mongering ineffective.

Don't just blindly believe everything your party says about their opponent, because they really aren't above spinning things to their advantage. Be cynical, especially if your information about the opponent comes from a campaign ad, or from a candidate.

Try to avoid giving money to anyone who will use nasty rhetoric. If that's not possible, then start policing your own party -- let them know that you don't want them to fund mean statements or be affiliated with vicious politics. Whenever you see a nasty ad, call your party, call your senator, write your representative, whatever. They will -- eventually -- get the picture. Don't just stop there - complain to the opposite party too, when they do it, and they most certainly will.

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