San Diego –– Ah yes, as is exemplified by the posts on Facebook, the silly season of hysterical partisanship has arrived with a vengeance. So here is some advice for you who simply cannot control your urges to post and repost cutesy and clever little cartoons and sound bites posing as profundity. If you will not or cannot take the time to read the full text of the document you are supporting or trashing (for example, bills before congress or existing law or propositions, etc.) and/or if you will not take the time to listen to the complete speeches or interviews of those you support or oppose, then understand this: venomous or adoring comment and hare-brained conclusions about them do you no credit except to equally simple minded folks in lock step with your own positions. But they do not make your creditable, eridute, or help support your positions, instead leaving you looking stupid and silly.
When you attempt to fill in the holes of your knowledge with a narrative spun from your own fantasy and hopes as to what might be there, good or bad, then any conclusions you attempt to draw from such fatally flawed premises paints you in an intellectually impoverished light.
If you wish to support or oppose a candidate or a position or policy based on what they really stand for and have really said and meant based on the whole context, then that is what our country is all about. Testing the truth in the crucible of serious and honest debate most often burns off the dross and leaves only the good stuff. But slinging virulent slurs and demonization as well as fawning and genuflecting in unquestioning adulation, is something very, very different. And very very negative as well as detrimental to our system and culture.
Perhaps more importantly than any election in a century, it is vitally important that we elect representatives based on their specified plans to deal with the economic crisis we are experiencing. To deny its existence to support a candidate is no wiser or smarter than to make it out to be worse than it is to support another candidate. Neither of those positions allows a perspective that is conducive to real solutions.
Now I understand clearly that such advice will require efforts beyond the intellectual capabilities of many of my so-called friends who paste the latest “gotcha” comment without a clue as to whether it is truly representative of a position or, for that matter, ever actually happened. For them it does not matter. Personally it is my opinion that should disqualify them from voting since they really have no clue what they are voting about. More realistically, it simply paints them as dolts and gullible idiots to me especially when they insist on reinforcing it with a string of equally non-contextual silliness and especially if I have actually read the document or listened to the entire speech or interview and know they either did not hear it all or else cherry picked a phrase that suited their purpose and implied that was the thrust and burden of the whole. That is hypocritical, disingenuous, and beneath contempt. I expected it of entrenched politicians; I expect more of anyone of my acquaintances who is a true friend.
I have solid, long standing friends from all parts of the political spectrum and we can debate the issues based on our various philosophical views of the likely outcome of actions and behaviors and never reduce our discourse to the pathetic level of labels, name-calling, personalities, or bumper-sticker levels of intellectual prowess.
Because I was willing to answer my country’s call even when I disagreed with her policies, I walk with a limp and am recovering from more surgery for injuries stemming from those times and events. I believe I fought for, and others died for, each citizen’s right to be a moron if they chose. There is, unfortunately, no civics testing for the privilege of voting though I wish there were. But if you are going to do that type of continual idiotic posting then please be aware that you are just supporting, embracing, facilitating, and perhaps perpetuating the level of idiocy you probably decry.
But know this: I’m not impressed and I believe that in the end it is YOU that are the problem and the reason for the decline of our culture and society.