Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting Political

I made a post after the 2008 elections about why I hate talking about politics. Frankly, at that point I had been burned out from working in a college setting where lots of educated people had tons of free time; all we did was discuss politics.

In the whole department, I was the most liberal by far. Let’s put it this way: I’m so liberal, I support abortion up until the 11th trimester. After all, infanticide is a practice enshrined in many cultures, from the Greeks and Romans to the modern Chinese. Why does no one care about tradition when I try to use it as justification? [Please refrain from killing your children until it is legal, which will be never.]

The claim that professors are largely liberal is such a lie. Even in the English department where I worked, half of them were hard-line conservatives (with most publicly identifying as Libertarian, because it’s too embarrassing to admit you vote Republican). It’s funny, because if most Libertarians took their class and had to read “Atlas Shrugged,” they'd rebel against that and become Marxists. Funny how things turn out.

What was most frustrating about our debates was that the election acted as an anchor that kept dragging the conversation to pointless realms of discussion. Palin/Obama bashing from their respective opponents dominated, and I had no will to defend either one.

I don’t like Obama. Yes, yes, isn’t it wonderful that America elected a black person for president. But to be honest, Obama is black-lite: he can play basketball, but he still walks with a Caucasian rod up his ass. I’ve always said, “I don’t trust his white half,” and I certainly don’t trust his slick suits. Suits are imperialist military fashion. Nothing says, “I’m ready to exploit an indigenous people,” like a suit and tie.

Obama is no socialist, which is a shame. As things stand, I have cautious indifference for him, but if he demands Americans do community service in order to receive college funding, or requires health insurance under penalty of fine, my feelings towards him will turn sour very quickly. It would also be nice if he grew a pair and stood up for actual change... gay rights, economic regulation, public school funding, ending the wars, anything...

So now that the election is over, it’s okay to talk about things other than why Barack Obama is or isn’t a communist fascist or why Sarah Palin is or isn’t the future of the Republican party. These straw men and women do not help me in my goal of understanding political ideology. As far as I’m concerned, both sides have simultaneously achieved their goals: I hate all politicians.

I am fast approaching a point where I believe people should be forced to run anonymously. All debate and public address can be conducted through writing. I am curious if we might actually elect better leaders, as ugly and uncharismatic as they may be.


  1. "I am fast approaching a point where I believe people should be forced to run anonymously. All debate and public address can be conducted through writing. I am curious if we might actually elect better leaders, as ugly and uncharismatic as they may be."

    I argued that once, largely because people generally seem to vote far more based on image than actual policy, and because people who know nothing about policy turn out to vote en masse because of image.

    I was quite disturbed, observing the US elections from afar, to see some female democratic supporters say that, since Hilary Clinton had not won the nomination, they would instead vote republican because there was a woman on the ticket.

    Similarly, in the UK, many people seem to have switched their allegiance to the conservative party on the basis that their leader is younger, thinner, has more hair gel and generally more closely resembles an estate agent than his opponent.

    The problem is that policy is boring. You can't point at it and laugh at its' fatness/pregnancy/ethnicity/gender or remark humourously on any scandalous incidents from its sex life. So if people just went on the internet to look at manifestos, and decided their vote exclusively that way, and through campaign leaflets and such like, hardly anyone would actually vote. While it might be good to dissuade stupid people and have more people with actual knowledge of, say, politics, in the electorate, it would not be very 'democratic'.

  2. Is our current system very democratic?

    In the last election only around 57% of eligible voters actually voted. Obama won by 53%, which means about 30% of the country (or rather the eligible voting age population) voted for him. Which means less people voted for Obama than voted for no one. And that was our highest turnout since 1968!

    Time for a third (socialist) party to rise up? :)

  3. Like I said during the Bush years: Anarchy won the vote. There are always more people in the US who choose not to vote than who vote for the winner. I say not voting is a vote for no government.

    Maybe if we had someone worth voting for...

    Cobalt: I imagine very few women changed on the matter. It was a campaign led by people who already supported McCain, and a strategy probably considered while making the Palin pick.


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