Saturday, November 1, 2008


My non-political friends are always surprised to hear it, but I can't stand election time. It is true, I am more involved, informed, and interested in what goes on in the political world than most other people, but my interest in politics is of an intellectual and humanistic nature. I am committed to understanding an issue before I make a decision and I am concerned before anything else with the humanitarian implications of that issue.

The politics of election time are the antithesis of the politics I am interested in. Election time is the fantasy of every bigot and pedant. It is a time when the affairs of government descend from partial to complete stupidity. It is a time when facts become irrelevant to convenient lies. It is a time when an understanding of complex issues is cast aside in favor of bumper sticker slogans and television ads. It is a time when compassion for fellow humans is a treasonous offense if they belong to a nation or religion on the wrong side of the U.S vs. Them divide. It is a time for the partisan fanatics to flock around their suddenly infallible candidate. It is a time for uninformed individuals to decide in a few days what the world's most compassionate and brilliant people struggle with for years. It is a time that I, along with most people I know, can't wait to be over.

Instead of focusing on actual issues politicians, pundits, and citizens are concerned about lapel pins, religion, teen pregnancies, war stories, and many other non-issues. Instead of trying to run a nation politicians are trying to run poll numbers. I don't have anything against having elections, with all its flaws this is still the most effective political system devised to date, I am begging everyone, though, to ignore the obfuscation in the media and think for yourself.

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