Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Political Climate Pt. 1

As you probably noticed, I love politics. I love feeling like I’ve done something to influence the way my country is run, even when I’m only one voice in millions I do have a voice. But I have to be very precise about what I love. I love the process of learning about my politicians, and picking the person I think will do the best job. I love discussing politics with a certain kind of person-the kind of person who can be respectful of a point of view they don’t agree with. I love signing petitions, going to the polls, emailing my representatives. I love being a part of the process. What I don’t love is the political climate among that portion of the population that cannot respect any opinion but their own.
At the end of a CNN article I read the other day, I skimmed the comments, and this is what I found.
Bush's mess did not go away when he got on that helicopter for the last time. His problems remain, until action corrects them. And Republicans have done absolutely nothing to fix the mess they helped create!! People that don't work should get fired. –Comment by TheVeteran
To me this seems like a reasonable comment. There had been some previous comments about how President Obama has had almost two years, and we’re still in a recession therefore he’s failed. TheVeteran is fairly politely pointing out what has been said before, that it took eight years to get us here, it might take time to get us out of it. The response he got was…
Obama, and all other Dems will never accept responsibility for their own failures. All he is trying to do is turn attention away from his failed policies. –Comment by Republam
This kind of bothers me, because during the Bush presidency I felt like anytime something went wrong it was Clinton’s fault, but when Obama truly has to deal with stuff leftover from Bush, he’s not accepting responsibility. It feels like a double standard to me, but it’s not what makes me so angry. Later this comment was made…
I just would like to say that I feel as if the people who are commenting on this page are way to harsh on Obama! You have to understand that we would not be in this predicament if Bush was not in office for the past eight long years. It took eight years for this country to fall apart, Obama is doing his best and what he feels is necessary to get this country back on is its feet. He can not correct all the issues over night or by himself; this is going to take time and more support from people in order to move forward effectively. And plus if you have time to write rude comments about him on this site why not use that energy else where such as helping people find jobs, and research other means of health care. Or better yet, U try being president for a day! –Comment by Ice Cold
The responses immediately below it were…
RE: Stop whining. –Comment by Dolleybird
Estimates are there is $1 trillion, to a high of $4 trillion, of investor money sitting on the sidelines waiting until the spend-and-tax Democrats are out of office. That's what will happen in November. You will know some of these things if you read the front page instead of the comics. –Comment by Bandonite
These two replies are fairly representative of the political climate. In this case it’s conservatives making me angry, but liberals do it too. Instead of just arguing the facts, people have to take it one step farther and insult each other if they disagree. In some cases, they don’t use facts at all, just “Stop whining.” I don’t think anyone is whining, I think that these are overall people who are concerned about politics in this country, stating their opinion and being shut down. I think this is what created the situation we saw this summer where townhall meetings were overtaken by people who didn’t want information out there at all. If you don’t remember, this summer when politicians held townhall meetings about the health care bill, many of them were shouted down and people asking legitimate questions were chanted over, or were not even able to get into the meetings because there were so many people there to protest. I’m not saying we all have to agree with each other, but I am saying that we have to be respectful of each other. This post is getting long, so I’ll finish with a quote from John Stewart. Later I’ll be following up on this with a few historical stories about the last time our political climate got this divisive.
"We live in troubled times with real people facing very real problems; problems that have real if imperfect solutions that I believe 70 to 80 percent of our population could agree to try and could ultimately live with. Unfortunately the conversation and process is controlled by the other 15 to 20 percent." –Jon Stewart

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