Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Political Trends

I'm sure this has been going on for years, but the more I see it, the more it really bothers me: Personally attacking politicians. It bothers me because Obama has been in office for such a short time, and already his entire presidency is being damned. I know there are stereotypes about politicians being sleazy, or corrupt; I'm staying away from that line of argumentation. I'm very bothered by the personal attacks against politicians, specifically the statement that "I hope he fails." I've seen quite a few of the this lately, and I question the thinking of those who make such statements.

Clearly not everyone is going to get his or her choice in terms of elections; either the person you've voted for gets into office, or not. And if your candidate of choice loses, I suppose it's easy to get into the automatic mindset of how terrible that candidate must be, and automatically dismiss the politician's entire political term. I see a lot of this mindset in Republicans, although I'm sure it's true across the board; but I can say with complete honesty that I've heard this solely from the Republicans I know about Democratic candidates, and not at all from any of the Democrats I know about Republican candidates. Even when Bush was in office - and I would still like to know, in all seriousness, if anyone believes Bush's policies were effective, or good ones - I didn't hear any of my Democrat friends or family members criticize Bush personally; his policies were attacked (as I believe they should have been), but personally he was left alone. I would have no problem if I heard people tell me specifically if, for example, Obama's policies are weak. And I'd really like especially to hear counter-solutions; just hearing that something sucks isn't really helpful, is it?

What disturbs me about wishing someone would fail is that it shows an inherent lack of kindness, patience, or tolerance. You don't like someone's policies or politics? Fine. But one would hope you would like to be proved wrong, that the politician would create and enforce polices that would strengthen our place in the world, our economy, our healthcare, our educational practices. And if that politician does fail, one would hope that you would have the grace to acknowledge that the next person will hopefully do a better job. Attacking someone personally for their practices just smacks of immaturity and an inability to distinguish the mistakes a person can make and the person herself.

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