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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The trouble with “guidance”…

I promise this will be the end of this election year rant. I have been receiving lots of “voting guidance” lately. Fortunately that will end tonight; however, my aversion to people attempting to guide me during any election will not end. There are few, if any, really intelligent voting information sites or articles or “guidance” available in any election and especially not in this one. All of the so-called guidance sites are not even thinly disguised attempts by highly biased groups to get people to see the world and their voting choices the same way as their group or block or cult sees it.

The message is always the same – you are intelligent and a real patriot of you see things this way and vote for our candidate; otherwise you are probably a socialist dirt bag and maybe an American-hating Al Qiada sympathizer. Or perhaps you are an ultra conservative Nazi out to make raped women have unwanted babies that threaten their very lives. Either way you are obviously unfit to call yourself an American unless you vote with us.

The real problem seems to me to be that we have, as a nation, become so polarized that is no room in the middle for thoughtful discussion of issues. You are either a conservative buffoon or a liberal idiot, with no in between - no middle ground – no moderate views allowed. You are either a Tea Party Patriot or a flaming Socialist. There are no liberal Republicans left and few conservative Democrats willing to raise their voices. Logic and civility have been quashed under the jack boots of extreme ideology.

The Tea Party has even dusted off old Joe McCarthy and said, “You know, he may have had the right idea.” So, maybe we’re ready for a Joe McCarthy for President kind of candidate. Maybe we need to elect someone so radically far right that they really would do away with the Federal Reserve and Social Security and Medicare and all of the other social and welfare programs and take the country into a kind of no-government is good government state of anarchy.

Everybody could get a gun and just hunker down at home protecting their own and shooting anyone who threatened their peace and quiet; while the Federal Government did as little as possible (aside of course from having the Army shut off the board with Mexico to stop the flow of illegals in to the country. We could seal off Fortress America from the outside world and turn inward. We wouldn’t need anything from anyone. Oh, wait; darn, North Korea has already taken that part on the global stage. Rats! We’ll have to think of something else.

Where’s that Constitution thingy. Let’s take another look at that and see if we can start fresh again. Where’s the part in there about passing a party litmus test on religion or abortion in order to be elected? And where in the Bill of Rights does it talk about entitlement programs becoming rights. Where did our insightful forefathers place the words that define providing health care for every citizen as socialism?

I guess I do need some guidance, but I’m not sure that the guidance being offered by the various political parties and activist groups provides much help. Barry Goldwater was roundly criticized by liberals when he said that “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”, but he also said, “To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable.” Barry turned out to be right about more than he was wrong about and would probably find today’s political environment to be very disagreeable.

Maybe there still wisdom in some of those old sayings that came from writings even further back than our Constitution.

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