Saturday, December 30, 2006

On Politics

Our political climate faces two defining attributes: 1) Prejudice and 2) Dumbing down.

1) People forget that there’s more to prejudice than just racial prejudice. There’s religious and political prejudice as well. When Susan posted a picture of her and President Bush and people wigged out, that was political prejudice. When she posted a caption, “Support our troops” and people wigged out on that, that was prejudice, too.

When people assume that all Republicans are racists or that all Democrats are atheists, that’s prejudice. Finally, when someone posted on Susan’s site about Arabs/Israel and called this a “jewish site” that was prejudice.

The political blogs are even worse. Sadly, when I first looked into the current state of chess politics, my first thought was, “what is Susan Polgar so unhappy about? This is the way the real politics in Washington is done.” Prejudice seems to be the main driving force in politics today.

2) I think of this as “the American Idol Effect”. People go on “American Idol” and think that because they can sing they should be treated equally to everyone else. Some people can sing better than others. Some people try harder than others.

When it comes to politics, the same attitude occurs. Your opinion is equal to mine. No it is not. If you have studied the issues and I haven’t, then your opinion is better than mine. And just like Simon will tell contestants, “you don’t know what you’re doing” so the same could apply to me.

The Constitution gives everybody the right to speak; it does not impose upon you the duty to listen. Some opinions can be and ought to be rejected outright: (a) holocaust denial; (b) Bush is responsible for 9/11; (c) giving brain-enhancing drugs to kids.

Too many people seem to think that because the subject is politics, they can have any opinion they want and are entitled to equal respect from society.

The two of these attitudes together are what makes politics today so bad.
Picture is from clipart collection.