Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Irony in all forms

Welcome back for 2012! I hope everyone had a safe, happy holiday!

As today is the day for the Iowa Caucus, the unofficial official first day of real honest-to-goodness primary voting, I thought it would be nice to talk about the one candidate that won't be on the ballot: Obama.

Now, I'm what you might call an Obama "supporter". I think he's done a pretty good job, I think he has the right idea on most things, and I think he's light-years ahead of the GOP candidates. That being said, I do have issues with some of his policies, as previous posts of mine have shown.

The comic above is a great rendition of a common problem on both sides of the aisle. Progressives who support Obama tend to gloss over his less-than-popular policies because they don't want the American People to vote in someone they feel is worse. They are willing to take the indefinite detention, the continuation of Guantanamo Bay, and Internet censorship if it means that Obama is still in the White House.

Of course, conservatives are guilty of this too. They tend to gloss over Ron Paul's questionable newsletters, Gingrich's affairs, Santorum's extreme prejudice, and the outrageous claims and promises of all the candidates in order to cast them in the best possible light while they have the favor of the media. But as the comic above points out, this double standard is not really all that good.

For one thing, if we ignore the insane policies of any representative, we tend to marginalize or dismiss them, which means we don't address them and demand change. In the case of Obama, there are plenty of people, even among his strongest supporters, who are denouncing his decisions over indefinite detention of censorship. While the conservatives are trying to rip him apart with these policies, the Left is trying to protect him as a President while voicing discontent with some of his decisions.

The same thing happens on the Right, but to some extent not as much. The GOP base will usually ignore the more extreme views of a candidate or representative until those views get them in trouble in the media. Then, as a group, they up and leave them in support of someone else. They allow their delusions to lead them until they can no longer justify them, and then they move off and create delusions about somebody else.

It's all part of this idea that we need to have the perfect candidate, the perfect person, the man or woman who has never said the wrong thing in their life. We are all looking for our personal "Ronald Reagan" as it were, and we're all trying to take what we have already and make it fit that mold. Collectively, we look for consistency, we look for intelligence, we look for poise and electability. Such a person does not exist, but we try to fashion them anyway.

We shouldn't ignore the bad policies of any politician, no matter how much we support or believe in their message. We have to demand honesty from our representatives. After all, the President is meant to serve at our discretion. They are meant to listen to us before they listen to their contributors, and we must hold them accountable for their actions.

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