Friday, October 24, 2008

Beating that long dead nag

In 11 days, all this election madness might, if we're lucky, calm down a little. But until then, the pitch is only going to get more feverish. I hate to fall prey to this, but it's hard not to do that here.

Since I've had more involvement with Republicans (which, as it happens, is not a dirty word), this may focus more on the G.O.P. Don't be fooled; it doesn't mean I'm a Democrat (also not such a dirty word).

I think it may be safe to say--with the most general blanket-statement possible--that Republicans know more about Barack Obama than they do about John McCain. And the opposite is true for Democrats.

The explanation for this is simple: Team players want to find reasons to disagree with the opposition. Not surprisingly, they end up becoming more familiar with the other nominee's dangerous policies and scandalous past (read: devilry) without applying the same scrutiny to their own chosen one.

But why? Not everyone acts this way.

In a recent profile of Sarah Palin, Philip Gourevitch reported this interesting tidbit:

"While Republicans hold most of the state’s top political posts, only twenty-five per cent of Alaskan voters are registered Republicans. Fifteen per cent are Democrats, and three per cent belong to the Alaska Independence Party—the extremist states’ rights, quasi-secessionist faction to which Todd Palin once pledged his allegiance. A solid majority of Alaska’s electorate claims no party affiliation. Alaskans kept telling me that Alaskans vote for the person, not the party."
What if voters in the rest of this country relied less on allegiance and more on equally objective investigation of the candidates? What a novel idea that would be! Even if I were a straight-ticket voter, I would want to make sure that I choose a candidate with as few chinks in his or her armor as possible.

Most of the political mail I get has Republican origins and is all about the latest muck on Obama. With Obama's talk of spreading the wealth, why is it that Republicans are so willing to overlook McCain's socialist leanings? It's astounding to me.

All I really want is for people to stop subscribing to lurid partisan rubbish and start approaching the election like responsible members of society.

Those highly concerned with the American political process should take half of their research time and devote it to finding out about Barack Obama. They should take the other half and spend it investigating John McCain. Suffrage is one of the most important rights we have, and it's irresponsible to approach it in such a flippant, my-team-is-better-than-your-team manner.

1 comment:

c.w. moss said...

seth, this was nice to read.

thanks for writing it.