I built this blog all on my own

19 Jul

I don’t know as much about politics as I could. That is a conscious decision, as by and large we have an awful political system, voluntarily participated in by awful people, and I have enough awful in my life without throwing myself into more awful just because it’s the awful that everyone else runs around with.

Generally, I side with Obama on the issues. This is in part because, what I have heard, I like. This is in part because I have a select few people whose opinions I trust, and they tend to like him. And yes, this is in part because I identify myself as more of a Democrat than anything else, so I am inclined to be on his side prior to any knowledge. And, since I don’t vote and haven’t since…2004 (? I’m not sure), I don’t feel the need to really delve deep into each issue and figure out if he’s right or wrong or crazy.

Right. I don’t vote. It is my conscientious objection to everything about our political system. And don’t tell me that not voting means I can’t complain. If the voting process is among my complaints, then damnit, I’m not going to put myself into it, and I’m going to complain as much as I please. (It doesn’t help that, having lived my life in Kentucky and Kansas, my vote literally never could have come even close to mattering, but that’s just an extension of my issues with the system at large.)

Anyway, this is all just prelude. The point of this is that I appreciate good political discourse. Regular disagreement, bred of equally valid opposing views, is fantastic and should be encouraged. But do you know what we have absolutely none of? Good political discourse. Regular disagreement, bred of equally valid opposing views.

This isn’t news to you. God, I hope this isn’t news to you. The key to being a politician these days is wait for your opponent to mess up and pounce. And if he (I’m not going to say “he or she” over and over, but it’s what I mean; we need a gender-neutral pronoun and don’t call me sexist) doesn’t mess up, cut up something he said and make it sound like he messed up! It’s all so simple.

Which brings me to this week. Friday, Obama said:

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Now, in his camp’s infinite wisdom (read: buffoonery), Romney’s camp has cut the quote down to “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” and run with it. Where Obama was saying that everyone has had help somewhere along the line, that the government has helped enable essentially every success (undeniably true), the opposition is saying that Obama thinks…what, he built everything? Honestly, I can’t even figure out what kind of point they’re trying to make with the selective quoting.

This is as stupid as it can possibly get. It makes a mockery out of our entire system, which it usually does well enough on its own.

Please don’t think I ascribe these flaws entire to Republicans (or simply non-Democrats). Both sides do it, and both sides do it all of the time. There were so many ways to make fun of and criticize George W. Bush. But when Fahrenheit 9/11 came out, Michael Moore chose to waste an entire movie pointing out that Bush talked like a bumpkin. It’s true, but has nothing to do with anything.

But regardless, fussing about Obama saying “You didn’t build that,” is a joke. Either you didn’t read the whole quote, so shut up, or you read the whole quote and decided to just chop out that sentence, so shut up, or you heard a conservative pundit say Obama is dumb and jumped on board, so shut up.

If you want to claim that the problem is that Obama is pointing out the obvious (that we’ve all had help), so it was unnecessary to say, as a friend did, then okay, I guess. But that means that everyone picking on the quote is even MORE wrong, as you’re saying that Obama couldn’t have been MORE accurate. And since when does saying something obvious merit political criticism?

This whole thing is Mitt Romney grasping at straws. Obama is going to win the election, because he won the last election. That’s our inertia-based political system. In 2016, a Republican will win, and that same Republican will win in 2020. Then a Democrat for eight years. Barring someone who dies in office or, I don’t know, goes on TV and starts shooting puppies, we’re in a broken system now, one that I feel comfortable predicting the political leanings of our commander-in-chief more than a decade down the road. I don’t know (or particularly care) whether Obama should win, because it honestly doesn’t matter.

In fact, the only real argument I can see in support of Romney’s efforts is “What else can he do?” That’s true. So, okay then. Romney’s like the outclassed boxer who resorts to cheap shots at the balls in Round 6 when the ref isn’t looking. It’s not playing fair, and it’s stupid.

Just like our political system. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

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One Response to “I built this blog all on my own”

  1. tom July 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    yay dan is writing,

    I am not sure I believe political inertia is worth as much in a presidential election, they do have an upper hand… but in the last several elections (carter -> bush), 3 have been reelected and 2 haven’t. So Obama being reelected because he is an incumbent is probably less true than if it were local elections where name recognition and voting districts probably carry more weight. Also it went Reagan -> Bush.

    I also believe the second a company, organization, charity or whatever runs a political ad then all their finances should become public knowledge. this still gives them freedom of speech and it also also gives them anonymity on who they voted for… the counter arguments are hogwash. — maybe this would help cut down on the propagation of misquote rhetoric.

    selective quoting I feel is targeted at people who can only digest one sentence at a time. Its cheep marketing tactics like putting a girl in a bikini or one line chants — “drill baby drill.”

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