After every election, the questions I usually hear from half of the electorate are: What is wrong with people? How can there be so many idiots? With everything that was going on, how was it not a landslide? There is a lot of mystery not only of what drives voting behavior, but how people think in the most basic ways. There is a huge lack of understanding between different groups of people. Not only do people not understand why more people don’t think like them, they find time and time again that predictions based on how they think others think are spectacularly wrong. The truth is none of us even knows how others think, let alone why. Unfortunately, I’m still working on the answers myself, but in this post I describe several theories I have heard. Discussing them ought to help point us in the right direction.
Sometimes the arguments people make cut both ways. What is especially amusing is when they seem completely oblivious to the irony of it.
It seems like everybody is picking on Obama for his remark during the third debate he made about the navy. Some point out that bayonets (and horses) are still used in our armed forces, while suggesting that Obama claimed they weren’t (he actually just claimed we used fewer). Others claim Obama was rude and condescending and that he suggested Romney was unaware things had changed since the days of chariots and spears, but I didn’t take his comments the same way.
What was Fast And Furious? Who is to blame for the death of Brian Terry? Should Attorney General Eric Holder be impeached? Was Obama in on the conspiracy? You won’t find those answers here; that’s not the point of this blog. I’m here to discover and report on the arguments driving political opinion in the United States. The “Fast And Furious” scandal is becoming a divisive issue with many of us lining up on different sides to vent our anger at each other. Before we begin, it would probably be helpful if we were first aware of what the counterarguments are, and to question whether we really know what happened ourselves. There is a conspiracy theory out there that the operation was designed to increase gun violence as a pretext for increased gun control rules. Preaching this theory without hard evidence is reckless, dangerous, bad for the reasoned political debate essential to democracy, and sets us against each other needlessly. It has much the same effect as the conspiracy theory that elements of the US government were in on the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for war. There are also accusations out there that those trying to get to the bottom of the scandal are motivated solely to hurt President Obama politically, or even by racism. These accusations aren’t much help either, and only serve to divide us.
Well, this is a tough one to explain. At first glance it seems to be yet another example of Republican hypocrisy and political flip-flopping, but the Republicans do offer an interesting explanation that makes me wonder.
Obama insulted the Polish, some claim, when he referred to a Polish death camp while telling a tale of individual bravery. The Poles were quick to point out that it was a NAZI death camp that just happened to be within the borders of NAZI-occupied Poland. The implication that Obama was somehow perpetuating an erroneous belief that the Polish were somehow in on the attempted genocide, rather than simply representing geography, I find to be questionable. I speak of the death camps the same way, after all – by geography. I know they were all NAZI-managed, and I assume that everyone else knows this already as well.
Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say a lot of silly things for which they are criticized, but it is often missed that they have good reasons for saying things the way they do. Sometimes, statements are made in direct or indirect response to equally silly things that Democrats have said.
Civility and tolerance are common themes in this blog and this post is no different. While I speak out against the harsh rhetoric of pundits of all political stripes, I recognize that actions speak louder than words and so today I wish to write on a recent action by the Obama administration to force hiring institutions to cover the health care costs of their employees, including controversial procedures that many deem unhealthy or even immoral.
I was recently perusing RealClearPolitics and came across this video of a man (perhaps unknowingly) setting up a new narrative to current events that opposes the one I have found personally more useful.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.