Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Nature of the Beast

“We make a terrible mistake believing we have to find something wrong with the people we won’t vote for.”
“You can’t tell someone else that ground on which they make their voting decision is irrational. We can’t tell anybody they don’t know what they’re doing because they vote for candidate X instead of Y.”
President William Jefferson Clinton
Both of the statements above were quoted in the "Trailhead" blog on Slate. In this particular posting, Christopher Beam makes a very interesting point after the second of these - "That’s actually a good description of what campaigning is." I suspect that this actually applies to both of the lines from President Clinton's recent statements that I've quoted above. Both of these statements were made after Senator Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination for president had failed, and it's quite interesting to note, when the campaign was still going on, how vocally Clintonistas (one of their more flattering nicknames) found something after something to be very wrong with Senator Obama and claimed that it was irrational to the point of lunacy to vote for him. And of course, the Obamamaniacs returned the favor, round for round, without any high-profile chiding over it.

And, for those of you who may have been living under a stone somewhere, the general election campaign is shaping up in much the same way, with the partisans on both sides digging their trenches deeper and deeper and seeking to drive their Hate Train of choice straight through the other side's living rooms. It's been like this for as long as I can remember - dating back to the Carter administration.

Of course, this goes far beyond politics. You can understand each and every choice we make about or between people to be a vote of sorts, and people constantly seem to feel the need to find fault with the people they don't "vote for."

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