“You hate the poor”
“You’re jealous of the rich”
“You fund laziness”
“Government should help people”
“Government should leave people alone”
Since my recent interest in politics, I’ve always (maybe naively?) believed that partisan politics was ideal. That it encouraged debate, pushed people to think through their ideas, strengthen their arguments, and genuinely figure out how they really feel things should be run.
Since President Obama has taken office however (admittedly the first presidential campaign that I followed from the primaries all the way through the final elections, on both sides of the isle) I’m less convinced that partisan politics is anything more than high school cliques.
I don’t understand how I can have a civil debate with 2 friends, who generally have more conservative views than I do, on a regular basis. How even with my limited, though growing, knowledge of politics I can push them, and learn from them, without it turning into name calling and asinine accusations. Yet I can’t watch CSPAN and see what should be the brightest of the bright engage in anything more than partisan “We’re right, you’re wrong”. I find it hard to believe that every democrat genuinely thinks every democratic idea/bill is perfect, yet they seemingly always vote that way. I find it hard to believe that every republican feels the same way about every issue within their own party. Yet it seems that almost every bill passed is split by party.
I could be wrong about the previous paragraph, the health care fiasco got me so confused I nearly gave up trying to understand it by the end, and I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to figure out how it will effect me. But the terms listed above in quotes are just a few of the terms I’ve heard politicians (note, POLITICIANS, I’m talking congressmen and senators, not political commentators) spit out about people of opposite parties. How is that good? How does that help us? How does that make our leaders smarter, and better leaders? How does that educate their constituents on the actual facts that will effect their lives?
Can we at the very least agree that we want what’s best for our country, and byway of that ourselves? But maybe that’s just the naivety of someone who’s new to the party and has watched too many episodes of the West Wing.