Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday Tool Early November Edition (Updated)

Well, it's the ballot, of course.  Vote responsibly.

I am not exactly on the same political wavelength as most of my neighbors.  I assiduously avoid politics in conversation, and have cultivated the obscure answer, the faint smile and imperceptible nod.  I rarely try to correct someone when they regurgitate one of the more outlandish whoppers put forth by talk radio*.  So, I could probably introduce myself to any random stranger, and say that my ballot cancels his or hers.  Such is democracy.  I refrain from doing so--such is politeness.

However, it is inevitable that if somebody says something to you that they earnestly believe--something that goes against all facts, and that you know is 100% stupid, it will inevitably change how you regard them.  Still, ya gotta do business with them.  I console myself with the knowledge that they are good at whatever it is that I'm working with them on, and that they would consider me 100% stupid if they knew my views. 

 It is useful to have your opinions challenged, from right and left, and it is dangerous to listen only to those who agree with you.  What worries me particularly about the current scene is that we (as a country) can't even seem to agree on what is reality.  Facts have been replaced with tribal identity and heaps of lies and fear,  whipped up by "dark money."  

So I'm not tuning in to the election returns, because I know that they won't make me happy.  But, having voted, I will at least be entitled to complain.

UPDATE, POST-ELECTION:  I see from the local paper that two thirds of the folks in my county think rather differently than I do about almost every issue.  Most of them even voted for a congressional candidate who earned a few seconds of fame for a mass-mailing soliciting urine samples for his biochemistry research.  A very large majority voted for the state lege candidate who passed on any public debate because he was too busy, was not really clear about the whole three branches of government thing, and made sure that his first order of business was to publicly thank his personal deity and savior.  

*Rarely enough that I can remember only three such claims, and I responded only because I was specifically asked: Obama is the most anti-Israel president ever, global warming (if it exists, which it doesn't) is due to H-bomb testing, and there is an actual movement afoot to introduce Sharia law in the U.S..  Each claim was given with complete seriousness.

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