My friend Jen told me last night that I’m the most politically-charged non voter she has ever met. Well, I’m not a non voter by choice, but she has a point.
I believe in righting wrongs and fighting injustice and getting shit done, and the political system in the US and UK is failing miserably on both counts. If I had a vote in the US, I would have voted for Obama, but he’s very weak sauce as far as progressive ideals go. The fact that some people really genuinely think he’s a socialist or communist confirms that they have absolutely zero idea what those terms even mean.
What fascinates me, though, is trying to understand people I know who are ideologically different to me. It’s easy to assume everyone who disagrees with me politically is an idiot (and there’s ample evidence that many people are – on both sides of the spectrum); but I’m trying to understand those people that I like and respect who come to the opposite conclusions that I do. I’m concerned about wasteful government spending (and after working in Public Sector accounts for Oracle I saw plenty of it) but I’m suspicious of people who became deficit hawks the moment they lost the Presidency (after creating a deficit of historic size) and refuse to entertain one of only 2 ways to address it which is raising taxes.
What’s fascinating to me is that these smart, informed, passionate people look at the same facts and circumstances I do and come to completely opposite conclusions. Some are debatable (like the best way to deliver healthcare, although I’ll note that most of these people have never experienced the alternatives), some are ethical / moral (abortion, gay marriage), and some just don’t seem to make sense – like attacking Obama because he hasn’t passed a jobs bill; which GOP have hindered and blocked every step of the way.
What I hope may come out of this is that all the people who were lied to and misinformed by the right wing echo chamber (basically abused as rubes by very cynical grifters) may look at just how wrong those pundits and “experts” were and now start to think that they may well be wrong about other stuff too. But I’m not going to hold my breath – apparently there’s a lot of money to be made out of lying and misinformation.
It’s sad – this country could be so much better with a functional political system and a government actually concerned with improving the lot of the electorate.