Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Getting it out of my system

I've grown weary of posting and arguing various political screeds here, as well as engaging in debate with friends and acquaintances. Across the political spectrum, the current level of rhetoric has entered a particularly shrill and nasty phase. Consider the recent health care discussions.

I don't think any of this ranting solves problems.  However we've gone through other periods of bad civic manners, so I have no doubt this one will pass as well.

No side is immune from this nastiness and unfortunately it's easy to get sucked into this bullshit. When I do, I find myself quickly turning into a nasty, mean-spirited person I don't much like. So at least for the time being, I've decided I'm going to resist the urge to butt heads. I'd rather find points of agreement than disagreement.

Just to get it out of my system once and for all, here are my thoughts on various hot button topics of the day. While I think I'm right, I'm not going to insist that you agree: I'm not looking to persuade or be persuaded.

Feel free to skip the bullet points below; they are argumentative and I haven't bothered to support them with long-winded recounting of things that support my position. I'll be better behaved at the end of this post.
  • Taxes are not theft. My Libertarian friends who make this claim risk aligning themselves with other far right tax resisters such as Posse Comitatus and the like which espouse white supremacy and an apocalyptic world view. Do you really want to do that?
  • I agree with people who say the government uses our taxes to pay for a lot of stupid stuff. The catch is we don't all agree on which of it is stupid. I don't believe you'll ever find a place where you can get government services ala carte. And at the buffet you pay whether you get desert or not. Don't like it? Good luck finding a place with a different model.
  • Health care reform needs to be about delivering health care. As long as it's about insurance reform, the system will remain broken. In my opinion some form of single payer is the only real solution, but the insurance industry isn't about to let that happen any time soon.
  • I had no use for Richard Nixon and not much for Ronald Reagan but saw no need for speaking ill of either after they passed away. Trash talking Edward Kennedy after his death is low rent. It's a shame that educated, otherwise civilized people like Don Boudreaux felt the need to do so. No matter how eloquent they thought they were, they still came off like dirtballs. I've said it before but it bears repeating: pissing on a dead man's grave says more about the character of the person pissing than that of the deceased.
  • "Birthers" are either incredibly cynical or bat shit crazy. Or both. They appear to be people who can't believe a black man actually got elected in "their" country. Am I suggesting an element of racism at work? You are correct. Want to know where the people who packed the Sarah Palin rallies during the election went afterwards? Check the loud, angry mobs at the recent  town hall meetings about health care. This same group also populates all the "Tea Party" rallies.
  • The "Tea Party" has essentially become the Sorehead Party, full of two types of people: the angry rabble and people who want to use that rabble -- the manipulated and the manipulators. Don't believe anyone who tells you it's non-partisan. The philosopical underpinnings of this movement seems to be "I got mine."
  • Fox News is no more reliable source of information that Pravda was during the Cold War. They are a propaganda machine and pathologically incapable of being unbiased. For the record I discount any statement that relies on Fox or any of their minions.
  • Speaking of Fox, Glenn Beck should be medicated. He self-medicated for years. Perhaps he should return to this practice for a while. Just to show I don't play favorites, I consider Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann two sides of the same coin. They should be stuck on a desert isle together without cameras or microphones for a couple of decades, or until they can get along. Sean Hannity: how can anyone this stupid avoid accidentally killing themselves daily? And Chris Wallace: have you no self-esteem at all?
  • Finally, people who preface a statement by saying, "I don't consider myself a racist," are inevitably about to make a patently racist remark. Saying "I don't consider my farts smelly," doesn't make them any less noxious to those of us who have to share an elevator with you.
There...hopefully I've gotten it all out of my system. Instead of ranting, I'll be sweet-natured and write about computers and the general absurdity of life for a while. If I've offended you I apologize.

Although I'll do my best to resist the urge to rag about politics - I offer no guarantees. As my father once said, "Never get into a pissing contest with a skunk. After a while it doesn't really matter who started it."


Flee said...

Oh I Loved this and agree with you on every point! Bravo Dr Ralph

Dan Brekke said...

I think "never get into a pissing match with a skunk" is essential wisdom. I occasionally even heed it.