Civilly Discontent

I saw this on my Tumblr dashboard and I had to make a few comments. Let me start off by saying I have no idea who to vote for in this upcoming election. I don’t identify myself with either (or any) political party, though I might often tell others that I have liberal tendencies with a moderate bend of conservatism. Of course, all of that hog wash is just elitist rhetoric to provide myself with another label. #hashtag

In all seriousness, I continue to be astounded at the measure of politics in America. As I watched the Olympics, I was guaranteed to see a commercial vilifying Obama as a means to winning my vote for a conservative Wisconsin Senator. Moreover, these candidates were attacking each other, claiming the other wasn’t conservative enough. This sounds like, I don’t know… “You’re not skinny enough to be pretty,” or “You’re not normal enough to warrant my attention or friendship.” When is there ever a time to vilify someone? I’m not saying we have to be pushovers and accept everyone as they are. What I am saying is that there are more mature and productive ways in which we can rebuke someone in order to correct them. If a candidate running for Senator claims to be conservative but has voted otherwise, then point that out. Don’t cloud it in some ridiculous and horribly acted pathos and pay hundreds of dollars to air it on television. Get out of my face, I’m not voting for you because of that.

Anyway, I guess the nutshell of my post is this: It’s so easy to poke fun at Republicans, and I often find myself doing that. However, this doesn’t mean I esteem the Democrats. I’m actually very disappointed that Obama appealed to such a metaphor in that speech. It’s incredibly creative and very appropriate for him. But it vilifies the Republicans. I can’t stand for that. I can’t vote for that.

I just don’t know what to do. I want America to be a good country, a virtuous country. I want to cast my vote toward that end. If, somehow, we’ve decided that this mini-celebrity/tabloid-gossip route is the best way to secure our civic leaders, then maybe it’s best if I boycott my vote in an attempt to voice my opinion. After all, that’s what a vote is, isn’t it?

Last thought: Is it ironic to anyone that we call ourselves a united country? Never have I been more aware of the rift in the United States of America because of political ideologies. I’m convinced that if we are to progress from this hole, we have to abandon the generalizations and vilification of “the other party”. If we continue to have this “they vs. us” mentality, there will never be unity. In fact, the only thing we really are united on is the military. That’s a scary foundation.

UPDATE: I was just reviewing my entry and decided to watch the clip again. I couldn’t finish it. I cringed right when Obama said, “They…”

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