Monday, January 10, 2011

Politics

I have a chapter in my book about watching what you say and do, in public, on the Internet, etc. Like don't go out and order a Bud Light when your client is Miller, don't treat the receptionist like crap and, of course, don't go around spouting extreme political positions without being ready to accept the consequences of potentially alienating a client.

And then I spent the weekend spouting my political beliefs all over the Interwebs. I suppose it could come back to haunt me someday, but this is something I'm passionate about.

I've said it before: politics is not some abstract thing for me, tangential to my life. I grew up around government and politics. Dad was in the military for 20 years, Mom worked on Capitol Hill and in the administration for 30 years. Her husband was a lifelong government employee.

Mom majored in political science, as did I. I've been reading the Washington Post since I was 11. I schooled my third grade class, introducing them for the first time to the word "Ms."

I interned for the government in college. I worked on Capitol Hill for a government association. I worked for the attorney general of Ohio. I volunteered on his campaign and multiple others. I lost my job when he lost his.

I read somewhere between 30 and 50 politically-related news stories, blog posts and op-eds a day. That may be a conservative estimate.

I believe in politics, I believe in government and I believe in my party.

And I've believed and have been saying since at least August of '08 that the hate-filled rhetoric from the right is dangerous. That it would someday fuel some nutcase to take action. And I believe the right is responsible for 90% of the problem.

You can't compare one freshman democratic congressman and some angry anti-war protesters to established politicians and leading media figures -- senators, congressmen, governors -- spewing stuff like traitor, tyranny, death panel, job killer, un-American, government takeover, 2nd amendment remedies, reload, etc., etc.

I believe that fully, as does this Nobel Prize winner, this respected analyst and this lawman. Along with many others.

I can accept Republicans replying strongly and denying the charge. Of course they would. Why wouldn't they?

What annoys me more, though, are the "everybody does it" crowd. They're pushing this false equivalence. (And it's not close to equal, as the links above argue.) These are people who dislike politics, politicians and government anyway. They're the kind who can vote for Al Gore in one election and George Bush in another.

And I ask, which is more cynical -- the person who proudly and vociferously stands by his party or the one who just writes off the whole system as corrupt and refuses to engage at all?

That's a rhetorical question. My beliefs are mine. They've been thoughtfully considered and honed over 30-plus years of study and debate. I may be a damned partisan, but I know what the fuck I'm talking about.

No comments: