01 May 2012

C'mon people, think for yourselves

I am so not looking forward to this political season.  Based on the negative ads run in the Republican primary and the inflammatory rhetoric that is already out there, it is going to be an ugly and messy election.

Regardless of where your views lie, I hope that people will stand up to the politicians and PACs and tell them to stop.  Of course, I know that is not going to happen and feel sad about it.  It seems that the issues are becoming lost or that they are being reduced to a slogan or soundbite.

I really appreciated the 2008 Democratic primaries as Obama and Clinton did a great job of debating their positions.  Granted, there were the occasional moments, but this year will be nowhere near that.  There are so many issues that need true debate and this will be lost.  I have had several discussions with people already who are parroting what is said by the media or a politician.  When I ask them to justify the statement they just made, they seem confused.  I will ask, "Why do you say that is bad? Isn't XYZ the result of that policy".  They cannot answer.  Why?  They don't really know the issue, only what what they have seen or read on their political side's news program or web site.  They don't venture outside to see or hear the other side and truly think about the issue.

I blame them for being sucked into the soundbite and headlines and not really looking at the facts and I blame the media (both sides, although the right-wing media is more fact challenged, in my opinion) for catering to this.  Americans today, it seems, do not want to think for themselves, but instead have their view presented to them to make a choice.  "You are for or against it."  "The policy is good for America or bad for America."  The world is not like that, people.  The world, like us, is diverse and complicated.  And if you try to make this simple, you polarize people.  It's OK to have a mixed opinion.  Use your brain, don't let someone else use it for you.

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