Enough games

Last month, when Obama was way ahead in the polls, a friend asked me if I thought the election would be close this year.

“Of course it’ll be close,” I replied.

“How is that possible that someone like John McCain might win?” He asked incredulously.

“Here is a little history lesson: Thirty years ago news divisions on television were a public obligation of media companies. Twenty years ago, those rules were changed. Ten years ago, news became profit-making divisions. Now they have a vested interest in making it close and who gives a fuck about the country.”

And sure enough, despite the most sickening display on selfish unAmerican flag-waving Constitution-burning, I’ve ever seen on television, the news calls black-white, the polls invert:

Today's electoral vote map
Polling data since September 11th shows Obama trails McCain by 2 electoral votes. Polling data is subject to error because the election is still over a month away, restrictions on poll taking, and statistical weightings based on demographic data that may be outdated.

…and the most accurate prediction of elections closes in to a statistical dead heat:

IEM President "Winner Take All" price graph
The Iowa Electronic Markets are the longest-running elections market and have been a more accurate predictor of outcome than any other. It is based on the principle that economic gain motivates people to aggregate polling data, news, etc. in an impartial manner.

It is ironic that these sort of markets would help our leaders make more intelligent decisions, but when this sort of market was proposed by conservatives, it was successfully framed by liberals as a “terrorist market” and destroyed. :-(

Just because I knew it would happen doesn’t mean I like it. After the collapse of our financial markets, I know what you’re doing and I’m tired of your reindeer games. It’s not fun watching a mass brainwash of this country and this world doesn’t give a crap of the desperate “win”s some people need to rack up to avoid an accounting of the horrors they have visited on the it.

Anyone who votes McCain is a traitor or a moron—see, I’m generous, you can take your pick, what sort of scumbag you are. ;-)

When people like me have to bother to register to vote, you know you fucked up this country—I’m registering to vote today.

“No politics”

The reason I’m on this rant is because I was a guest somewhere recently where some husband cut off someone else mid-sentence with the admonition: “No Politics.” I was itching to say what a sanctimonious sack of shit he was being, but since I was a guest, I held my tongue.

Think about it, have you ever met someone who orders others not to talk about politics who isn’t expressing it from a position that they are better than you because they don’t engage in political debate?

Now at this stage, I figure there is a 7 in 10 chance that someone saying that actually agrees with me politically. But there is also a 10 in 10 chance that someone saying that being a tool that enables others to put us in the hole we are in now.

Don’t agree with me politically, but don’t let that get prevent you from thinking or expressing your thoughts either.

Get it?

10 thoughts on “Enough games”

  1. “Anyone who votes McCain is a traitor or a moron. (See, I’m generous, you can take your pick, what sort of scumbag loser you are.)”

    Isn’t that sweet. You know that the news has trained you to spit this sort of vitriol, right?

  2. @Thomas: I see another tool spams my blog and doesn’t follow the rules: Feel free to express your opinion on your website and link here, I will not delete trackbacks to non-spam blog entries. Put if you’re going to put out, then you have to learn to take it.

    Everyone else can click on the links and see that not only do I support my opinion of “traitor” and “moron” with fact and argument and that those opinions are not expressed anywhere in the “news” (aka “librul media”). In fact, the MUPpets tell me that McCain loves America just as much as me.

    I also can guarantee that I watch and receive less “training” from the television news than you do. Feel free to disagree with my opinion, that is your prerogative. But if you want to present your own, come up with fact, not fallacy. Let’s disagree on interpretation, but not on facts. And let us not put the cart (conclusion) before the horse (facts).

    As for “vitriol,” do you have any of those purple band-aids you were wearing left over from the last election?

    Thanks for being my blog bitch. :-)

  3. After many, many political discussions with guests gone bad at my home, we have the same rule. It wasn’t fun seeing people go home mad at each other, especially when the same conversation would go bad again next time. Maybe it’s the cowards way out, but I have precious little time to enjoy with my friends.

  4. I understand, but you know what? I have had plenty of discussions with my father in 2004 (before he became apolitical) though he would have voted for Bush. And when I was growing up, I had plenty of discussion with my brother (I was and am conservative by nature) back then. Neither of us agreed then.

    So I ask, when did engaging in political debate become a slam-fest sports-team like rooting smack-down? And who caused that? I mean clearly the Daisy commercial crossed a line, but when did we go from that to this?

    In the 80’s when the Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice arguments started to coalesce, one of the most interesting things is that neither side was confronting the arguments of the other. One was arguing mechanism/pragmatism and the other was arguing morals. A lot of debates could be resolved in realizing that you can acknowledge both sides (that there will be unsafe back street abortions, that we shouldn’t encourage abortion, that it is never an easy decision for the mother, etc.) while agreeing to disagree on what is “life” or other issues. It’s a tough issue that I’m perfectly happy in discussions with finding someone who chooses not to agree with me on mechanism (politics) because we can talk about commonalities and agree the problems are not easy and the answers aren’t clear cut.

    And when you know facts and still say, “both sides have points” and you do that with a straight face, When one end of the rope falls off a cliff, won’t you get pulled with it? Don’t you end up legitimizing the absurd?

    Sure there is spin and perception, but there is reality also. And some believe that that can be spun too.

    That was the strategy, and it worked. And when you see what’s happening, it’s time to call it out.

    As for “going mad at each other” at this point, I have so many generous, intelligent interesting friends, I can afford to lose some selfish unintelligent ones. Just because we don’t agree politically doesn’t mean I can’t do live with them. I just refuse to be swayed by their perceived slights.

  5. I think the more important question you just was “So I ask, when did engaging in political debate become a slam-fest sports-team like rooting smack-down?” I honestly don’t know, but I know that’s what it is today. I think it stems from the perception that you can’t lose. If you changed your mind based on an intelligent discussion of an issue, people now think you lost. So it’s no longer a discussion of an issue, it’s a proving your’re right and the other person is wrong. More often than not, and I mean much more often than not, someone isn’t even willing to admit they may be wrong. If you start out that way, no amount of discussion will be beneficial, to either party.

  6. @John: I’d be happy to disagree on politics, but I will not disagree on facts; I will not disagree on principles. There is a world of difference between finding someone does not share your views on abortion, or even the War in Iraq, and someone who says we should invade Iran because they caused 9/11.

    The original intent of the article is to show that while close is acceptable and economically desirable outcome of the modern media (though counterproductive to our only safeguard of democracy: “a well-informed electorate”)—uncomfortably close benefits nobody and it’s time to take a stand. There is a difference between hyping an Obama-Clinton primary as a “horse race” and hyping Obama-McCain thing to the point past danger, truth, and honest debate.

    I think many are realizing they have gone too far, Richard Cohen’s editorial shows that even the biggest John McCain fan of 2000 and 2004 can explain why the McCain of 2008 is a traitor to that McCain.

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