Can't we all just get along?
I mean really?
I realised something sad about the election the other night, talking with my coworkers. As a cynic, of course, it's my position that no matter who is elected we won't see any real change, or any radical new policies--in other words that 2012 will look essentially like 2008, except for the part about the world ending.

To a degree, I still hold that this is highly likely to be true. But I've noticed something else, from both sides of the aisle--I hear it more from the liberal end, of course, because I work in San Francisco and my coworkers are democrats, but it's clear enough in the discourse from the other side, too.

What it amounts to is a sort of rabid partisanism. One of the most striking examples for me surrounded Gov. Palin's speech at the convention. My conservative friends--and conservative pundits--hailed both the speech and the speaker. My liberal friends, however, not only disagreed with the content of the speech but thought that it wasn't even a very good one.

This is I think one of the more troubling aspects of the widening gulf between people when it comes to politics, and the sectarian factionalism that is rising up about it. No matter who takes office in January, not only will half of the country not have voted for him, but that half will be completely at a loss to explain how anyone could have.

There is a failing among Republicans, I think, to understand how anyone could possibly be swayed by Obama's cheap rhetoric and fancy talking with nothing to back him up. And so anyone who votes for him must either be blindly partisan straight-ticket Democrats anyway, or duped, Hitler-style, by his suave demeanour.

But there is a corresponding failure among Democrats to understand how anyone could possibly be swayed by in particular Palin's facile demagogic appeals to emotions and simplicity. And so anyone who votes for the McCain ticket must either be blindly partisan straight-ticket Republicans, or simple-minded peasant folk who simply don't know any better.

There seems to be what I might term an inherent presumption of disingenuousness, and the abject refusal to believe that anyone on the other side is casting their votes genuinely (or, if they are, that they can be respected for doing so). I have been guilty of this myself.

Which is sad, really, because this is itself a fascinating campaign with compelling candidates, and it unfortunately gives the lie a bit to the idea that politics was moving forward in some way.

Ah well. Politics takes a back seat; Spore is out.

La Chevre
11.09.2008 - 8h54
Comrade Alex
11.09.2008 - 9h45
The Other Clamoring Reader
11.09.2008 - 10h01
12.09.2008 - 9h10
La Chevre
13.09.2008 - 6h18
15.09.2008 - 12h43
La Chevre
16.09.2008 - 10h40

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