Friday, September 12, 2008

Battles and Prattles

I once said that I believe there is a time and place to talk politics. So, I guess today is the day.

I grew up with politics all around me; Election Day was once as exciting to me as Christmas Day itself. As I grew older and the wide-eyed naïvité morphed into something more cynical and harsh, I came to believe that Election Day and months before more accurately resemble a WWF match rather than Christmas. It's alot of bad acting, sweaty people, loud shouts and rude taunts that don't mean anything (from both inside and outside the ring), and alot of bad clothes. It's become a joke.

This year is a year like no other in recent history when it comes to elections. We have a minority candidate for President, and a minority candidate for Vice President. We've had longer than usual primary season and later than usual conventions. Lackadaisical kids finally found something of substance to be psyched about. Something big is coming - just what that is, we'll have to wait and see. And it should go without saying that we are indeed fortunate to be a democratic society where we can choose our leaders - even if "our" candidate doesn't win in the end.

The thing that bothers me, though, is all the ugliness. That is one thing that is not new. Sure, there is the age-old tradition of mudslinging from each camp, but We the People have really turned into a bunch of whiny instigators, too. Admit it. It's really disgusting. Some would rather tear one candidate down to the very fiber - and wipe them off the planet if they had the chance - instead of raising up their "own" candidate. Granted, we're not always going to agree - that's the point - but seriously now. It's like the country is full of school yard bullies - I'm right, you're wrong, you should get kicked in the groin because you're not on my side - but it's so much worse because you're adults and should know better.

Take, for instance, Being and Writing - a blog that I have been reading regularly because of its literary integrity. Recently, there have been some politically-charged postings that clearly show on which side of the fence this author sits. Fine. Freedom of the press. Exercising your right as an American to question, consider and think about the candidates. Except, 1) this blog's author is reposting stories, quotes, chain emails that are, for the most part, not based in fact (and I should say, most did not originate with the blog's author but she is perpetuating them), 2) is this really the forum to spew personal attacks and hatred against a political party? I had responded to one of her postings and was instantly shot down by another reader accusing me of not understanding satire or that there is truth in even satire. Thanks. I forgot I was an idiot.

I'm still trying to find a literature-related blog that demonizes the "Left" in the same way just to be fair. That will be like finding a contact lens at the bottom of the ocean. I did find this poem on Amercian Thinker that sides with Palin, but its passive-aggressiveness isn't quite as ugly as others I've seen. If you come across any (again, just to prove a point) please share. There certainly are enough political blogs that share this sort of negativity.

What's the solution? Do you think I'm just taking this out of proportion, or that, again, there is a time and place? Is this kind of "groin-kicking" acceptable or is there another way to show support for the candidate of our choice? Is this our freedom in action?

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