You know, I’m so very tired of how we turn people who disagree with us politically into monsters. So tired. I see it from the left and right. People pushing for gun control aren’t trying to trample on the Second Amendment – many of them simply understand it differently. People who are against the ACA aren’t against poor people getting healthcare – many of them simply have issues think we can’t afford it, or that there’s a more efficient way to provide healthcare. And those 138 US Representatives who just voted against the VAWA? I’m still struggling to wrap my head around serious objections to that bill, but I don’t think most (if any!) of them actually think domestic violence is a good thing.
I mean, obviously these politicians’ votes have RL consequences. We should hold them accountable, both within our own camps and across the aisle as well. But there’s a way to do this that doesn’t turn them into monsters. And this matters, partly because we need a way to discuss not just the ideal behind bills but the way we go about carrying them out and also because we need to respect our adversaries to work for them. Also because my political adversaries are Americans too, quite often as intelligent and courageous and virtuous as anything my political allies have come up with. They are my neighbors and my friends, and I have to try to love them for that even when I’d prefer my side wins.
Also, this false equivalency stuff where we talk about all politicians as if they’re equally worthless? It’s misleading. I have major qualms with Obama, but I need to be able to say that without overlooking the fact that bush was much worse. Or conversely, if you liked Bush, you need to honestly be able to see his faults without that committing you to the idea that he’s just as bad as Obama. There’s a world of difference between “bad” and “equally bad.” And from my political vantage point, it seems rich to have a political movement with the stated position that the government should be minimal throw a monkey wrench into the government’s activities… and have people conclude from this that government is ineffective and so we should have less of it. The Tea Party isn’t the only cause of Washington gridlock, but it’s a major contributing force, and this reaction just rewards bad behavior.
I now return you to your normally-scheduled fannish squeeing and photos of cats.