Thursday, November 13, 2008

Red State/Blue State?


It sounds like the title of a Dr. Seuss book.
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
It seems appropriate that our presidential election has been dummied down to the point of using primary colors to denote the complexities of our country’s collective electorate. We have fifty states, hundreds of urbanized areas, a few dozen religions, about a hundred nationalities represented (and all the blended permutations within), sexual preferences spanning the spectrum…not to mention geographic proclivities.
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
So we categorize all of this into two colors. So what is lost in nuanced difference is made up for in simplicity. Hey, don’t want to confuse the gun and religion clinging crowd, eh?
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
Yeah yeah…I get that the election was the choice between two individuals, or more specifically, the ideals of the parties they represent, so I guess the choice of between two entities should have two very bright shiny colors as representation.
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
Is it me, or does anyone else resent this oversimplification? Wait, let me put it another way – is anyone else alarmed at our degenerating collective intelligence? Have we gotten to the point that the average American’s cranium can only grasp red or blue? Sadly, I think the answer to that question is yes.
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
I can tell you this – Democrats & Republicans LOVE the current two-color system, since they are the occupants of those colors. It makes qualification to hold office brutally simple – be better than the other person. Thus, the strategy of winning office is equally simple – bash the other person. Repeatedly. Into oblivion. “He’s a Marxist” – “She can see Russia from her house”…
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
Does not such a diverse electorate deserve better?
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
What I want to see is more colors. I want Yellow states. Green states. A nice shade of Ecru perhaps. I want more choices. A viable third party? How about a viable fourth, fifth & sixth party? How about a political structure more representative of us than this guy or that guy?
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
Beyond having more choices, I’ll tell you what having, say, six parties will do. It will stop the negative bashing. When you only have opponent, ‘don’t vote for him’ is a viable strategy. When you have FIVE opponents, such a strategy is impracticable & politically suicidal.
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
The ultimate irony of the most diverse, melting-pot society in the world is that we are only given two people to choose from. My God, the McDonald’s Dollar Menu gives me more choices. And choosing the next leader of the free world is a bit more important than Double Cheeseburger versus McChicken.
<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
Well, at least to me it is. Check your own moral compass for the answer that best fits.

2 comments:

D. (Just D) said...

Eww, ecru?

D. (Just D) said...

OK, a serious response.

I agree that the worst aspect of our two-party system is that the end result is a scorched-earth policy of trying to destroy your one opponent by any means necessary. While I agree that, for example, George W. Bush has not been what I'd call a good president, the level of hate and bile spewed at him served only to polarize. It did not promote discussion, compromise or bipartisanship.

I detest a label. It is an insult to any thinking voter to be called Red or Blue. I'm fairly Purple myself. I have many so-called Liberal opinions, and I can be bulldog Conservative on other things. In the end, I tend to vote for the candidate I think I an work with.

It is my sincere belief that most Americans find a place near the middle, slightly left for some, and slightly right for others, that the rule parties do not understand. It is such a fun game to hate the other guy, so the parties tend to adopt extremes.

We've had two two-term presidents lately: Clinton and Bush. Both were championed by half the country and castigated by the other half. To what result? To whose benefit?

The United States has enemies, but the saddest thing to me is that we allow politics to make enemies of ourselves.