Forward, Backward, Unite, Divide!

Seems like politicians are keeping it simple for us common folk ... a perspective on reduction to the stupid.

I dont know about you folks, but some of the political ads and spin doctors mantras are starting to get to me. Whenever some talking head "boils it down," for me ... explains to me that, "the choice is simple," I start to smell some bad sandwich is being unwrapped. 

It doesn't matter to me who is speaking the words. The implication of many political ads is that you and I are stupid. When one candidate claims that all the other is trying to do is to divide the state ... frankly, I get edgy. When another claims that "it all comes down to this: Do you want to move forwards or backwards ..." — I get insulted. 

Forward, backward, left, right, unite, divide ... what the heck is going on? Do they think this we are on a drill team? Is this zumba class for the conceptually challenged? Are these catch phrases working on you? It is as though the candidates believe we are seals, ready to do their tricks ... but ... if we are, I ask, "where are all the fish?" Cause they aren't tossing any!

Maybe we have all dumbed down. Maybe, slowly, intractably, our brain cells are draining out of our heads, or getting fried by proximity to our blue tooths and laptops. Maybe our phones are getting smarter by draining IQ through our skulls, while we actually come to believe political opinion is either only left of right, good or bad, liberal or conservative, progressive or regressive. My lord, in many countries there are lots of candidates from lots of parties! What would Americans do in a situation where there were three viable parties? Yikes!

Let's see, we would have to start thinking in terms of three sides to the questions ... right, wrong and uh ... what? Sort of off base? Imagine five parties that had a chance of fielding a winner ... OMG! We would have to scrap the model of that sort of balance beam or ruler in our head with a far left side and a far right and a zero in the middle .... and go for what ... a star ... a five dimensional whudjamacallit? Our brains might explode! 

No, there is simply no way there can be more than two sides to any issue ... right (meaning my position) and wrong (meaning all others). The concept of left necessitates a right as sure as light requires dark, good requires evil, Punch needs Judy, Hatfield needs McCoy. When you start thinking in terms of shades of grey — when you start admitting to the subjectivity of human truths ... when you start cognizing the right of each human being to have her or his own unique opinion and respect that the diversity of thought (meaning more than just two monolithic slabs of ideation) is not only the truth about how this planet is and will be, but ADDS to the richness of life ... well, it gets real tiring. You have to think a lot more. 

So just hand me that old fashioned mental joystick with the four directions on it. Thats my kind of game. Forward or reverse, left or right. Yeehah. This is fun. Give me an S ... Give me a T ... give me a U .... give me a P, I, D! What does it spell??? 

I don't know ... please ... tell me!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robert May 12, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I am impressed. I had gotten to the point where reading the Patch on anything political turned into a Walker,Obama, Bush or ALEC hate fest .Reading got to be just like a driver going past a car accident. Digesting well thought out meaningful conversation in a non-rant type form is provoking the same on this end. Brian, I dub thee "Non aligned observer" extraordinaire , You are now on my list of Voices I will be looking for in the future. Solving problems in our culture and society more times that not take a look inside ourselves for answers that most wont take because they dont want to be told they are part of the problem. Its easier to march on with a group that supports all bad decisions in our past.
Brian Carlson May 12, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Wow... well thanks. I dont know that I need to maintain total neutrality or if it is possible but I do have the belief that there is probably more that most of us have in common, however deep it is or dusty... than there are issues that divide us. Getting to the commonalities and expecting and respecting the right to differ, turns the boat around toward peace and, I think, progress. Glad you like the discussion.
Bob McBride May 12, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I look for the least objectionable of the bunch and then I cross my fingers. I don't expect any of them to be able to do much beyond not screwing things up royally. They really don't have much control over anything, which is the way it should be. Position papers are just longer versions of the ads as far as I'm concerned. If they're a Democrat, I pretty much know what they're going to support and what they aren't going to support. Same for a Republican. Frankly, they both govern about the same, regardless of the what they say they're going to do in the run up to an election. Third parties don't matter - they never win.
$$andSense May 13, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Look what you started Brian. Some honest and open discussion without name calling and labeling. Oh, what a world, what a world! I'm melting!
Brian Carlson May 13, 2012 at 06:15 PM
$$andS, I do actually think people basically want the same things. In the blogosphere, or Blog Island, people want to be heard, they would like someone to consider what they are saying, and they would like replies to be at least civil. Of course they must expect disagreement, varied responses and what not. But no one blogs or responds in order to be insulted, called names, etc. Hence my blog on proposed rules for blogging suggested that we speak as though we were seated directly across a table from one another. Other's seemed to agree to the basic thoughts... thanks for the response.


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