Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Politics of Ignorance

I'm not a political person by nature. That doesn't mean I don't try to stay informed. I read the paper every day, I watch the occaisional Sunday news forums...okay, okay, you caught me. I get all of my news from the Daily Show.

But seriously folks, as a general rule I stay out of the political debate. I have my opinions , but I don't feel the need to force them on others in an effort to sway them to share my views. Some of my friends are liberal, and some are conservative. From time to time I do enjoy asking controversial questions in front of people that I know have differing political views, and then stepping back to watch the fireworks. It's funny to see how people can argue Bush vs. Kerry with a passion that they can't seem to muster for anything else. You can't help thinking "I know you feel strongly about this topic, and I admire that more than you'll ever know, but your four year old son is drinking out of the toilet over there and you might want to take care of that before you launch into your spirited defense of the war in Iraq."

I say all of this because earlier today, I witnessed a group of completely ignorant people conducting a heated debate over the upcoming election. You can always tell the pseudo-intellectuals by the way they parrot the catch-phrases that they hear through the media. "HOW CAN YOU LIKE A FLIP-FLOPPER LIKE KERRY?" scream the conservatives despite the fact that when pressed, they can't name a single issue that Kerry has voted on, much less which position he took. "BUSH IS A FASCIST" shout the liberals, who probably couldn't define fascist if you gave them a dictionary and three chances to do so. What puzzles me more than anything is how so many people can remain undecided when the two candidates (yes, I know Nader is running - but he is about as relevant during his second run as Perot was during his) are so diametrically opposed on nearly every single issue. Consequently, "I'm undecided" has become synonymous with "I have no idea what the fuck I'm talking about and God help us all if I get near a voting booth this year."