Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I would rather talk about thongs...

***Warning - the following may contain terms and expressions that may be objectionable to some.***

Lo, the strident voice of discord! I hear your clarion call to arms from across the blogosphere...mere electrical impulses do nothing to dull your shrill cry.

Why is it that we are so willing to attack 'the other side' for no reason than they're the other side? I don't have much of an answer for that other than I think we, as a society need to feel some sense of community and since we don't get it in our day to day, we seek it by finding sides to join. Most of us have a hard time with much beyond 'right' and 'wrong', black/white, left/right, so that's what we go with.

We then offer up pseudo debates in which we espouse our side's views, couching our arguments in trite talking points that we do too little critical thinking about to ever question, and then soundly pat ourselves on the back when we've yelled the loudest, assuming that to be the same as logically expressing our arguments. Please forgive me for saying that's a crock of steaming offal.

Tell me - for example - that you didn't vote for Kerry because he didn't seem to have a plan you could get behind or that you just thought he looked goofy and I can respect that. Tell, me you thought he was coward during the war in which he actively served and received commendation, or he doesn't voice Christian beliefs and morals though and I'm going to pretty much dismiss what you have to say. I can get that by listening to a douchebag like Rush Limbaugh. The only wingnut that was ever worth a crap was Robert 'Wingnut' Weaver.

That said, I offer up to my tender and discerning readers - all ten of you - a small, shining moment of non-partisan class. It comes by way of my old home state, Oregon, and it's senior senator Ron Wyden.

Wyden recently voted to confirm John Roberts and made this short speech explaining why. It's worth reading.

And guess what else? Wyden gets along great with his Republican counterpart, Gordon Smith. Why, they've even co-sponsored a bill to make December National Peach Month. That's indeed right - a Democrat and a Republican working together - what's next?


tshsmom said...

All I want is an elected official that works for his constituents instead of himself.

The Zombieslayer said...

Shawn - I now have a healthy respect for Ron Wyden. I wish he would have asked about Kelo v New London though.

I never had a problem with Roberts. As long as Roberts respects our Constitution, I'll be okay with him whether he's left, right, middle, has five eyeballs, or whatever.

Shawn said...

tshsmom - That's not to much to ask for. The problem is we've stopped demanding public figures live up to high standards.

ZS - Wyden is a goofy stud... He may be one of the only senators to have asked to be on what would considered lame committees. He's on some health committee because he knows his constituency is getting older and they're concerned about health care.

I also really respect that he seldom allows politics to dictate his stands. It doesn't get him headlines, but he gets the respect of the people back home. He is also big on town hall meetings and unlike many politicians will actively seek out all opinions from his home area.

Compare that to my current senator...Mr. Patriot Act himself, the honorable Senator Head Up His Ass... Oh well, I find it nice to know that there are still caring politicians out there.

I feel the same as you about Roberts...although having five eyeballs would have surely come up during confirmation hearings.

thephoenixnyc said...

Oh sure, start with national peac hmonth, then you are going to have a vicious fight in the house and senate.


Because every state has their own partiular state fruit which they use to market their wares to buyers in other states and countries, there is big money at stake in National Fruit months.

Then what happnes, there are only 12 months, not enough for ALL the fruits to have a month and....

Shawn said...

See...that's where bi-partisan co-operation comes in. They present a united front... Besides, peaches are a very nifty fruit.

Laura said...

All I've got to say is that it's a natural tendency among Western culture to view the world dichotomously. Why does someone call themselves conservative? Because they're not a liberal. Or vice versa. Most people, if they took specific issues, would find common ground. But if you stick with this binary outlook - white/black, good/bad... there is no in between and no compromise possible - because everything is defined by not only what it is, but also by what it is not. It's very hard for us to see the middle ground, and when we do, we try to fit it into one of our little boxes.

Shawn said...

It's just a western thing either...but it seems like we're just more inclined that way.

In Tibetan Buddhism there is a lot of fighting over the various forms. The Yellow Hats (Gelugpas) are adamant that their tradition is right, while the Red Hats and other traditions argue that theirs are correct.

One of the biggest arguments always centers on the nature of emptiness. It seems like they all hold widely differing views. In reality, the views are very similar but the language describing them is different. Once the words are defined, the argument doesn't exist...but many monks still like to argue anyway. Sound familiar?

Back in my poli sci days, we used to chart out various political systems. We used a flat graph with left and right. Both parties in the U.S. are really nearly identical in political leanings compared to parties in other countries where an election one day can literally mean that big industries will be federalized the next, or that all independent newspapers will be closed.

The other interesting thing I found is that when we defined things like democracy and communism, they were pretty much the same thing in a purely political sense.

What is democracy? Essentially everyone having say, or a vote in how the community will be run. What is communism? Basically, the community, in which everyone is a part, makes decisions for the betterment of the community.

Startling thing to discover at the height of the Cold War with Reagan in office...

The battles raged on though. No matter that the commies weren't actually communist and us democracy lovin' Americans didn't live in a democracy.

Anyway...to paraphrase tshsmom... Hey politicians, start serving the people instead of the party!