You know what bothers me? People who, in the most loaded presidential election in history, are still clinging to third-party candidates. What bugs me even more is that the people who are the most third-partisan are left-leaning types who are determined to spit on John Kerry.
Are there really those who are so uncompromising in their ideas that they are going to take the time to visit their polling station and cast a vote for Ralph Nader or David Cobb? In 2004? As if that's going to accomplish anything else besides securing another vote for George W. Bush? And all because they think Kerry is just too mainstream! Do the Democrats not deserve votes because they want to appeal to a broad base of constituents, the United States? That's a strategy and-a-half there, Cochise. Maybe if these third-party voters force us into four more years of Bush, maybe then we'll see just how evil Kerry is. Thanks for the head-up!
Yeah, I know and understand that they don't like Bush. Neither do I. But why all the hatred for Kerry? Isn't this exactly the kind of in-fighting that the Republicans are counting on to whip us? After all, it was the GOP that recently managed to get Nader on the ballot in Michigan. Think about that!
Of course, maybe it's just because they want to make a statement. How's about this for a statement: "We don't like Bush. He's bad for the country, so we're going to vote in Kerry. He's not our favorite, but he's better than what we have now. We're paving the way for our pick for next time." Because if they blow this one, I don't think the third-party types are going to get the same level of respect they got after the 2000 election.
You know what bothers me? Debating libertarians. It's easier to debate the most extremist political science professor than it is to debate the average libertarian. I have issues with the libertarian philosophy, which is basically two parts liberalism with a major dollop of right-wing FUCK YOU thrown in for good measure. I believe in self-sufficiency; however, I don't see the harm in helping another human being from time to time. Or the idea of community.
The reason I dislike debating libertarians is that they know everything. Everything. These people have so much historical text memorized and drown you in so many terms that even if you make a totally flawless point--one that would make Karl Rove fall on his knees and beg to the heavens for forgiveness--you'll get the stinging rejoinder, "Within the context of my piece, your statement makes little sense and given the brevity of your reponse I'll try and extrapolate what it is you are in fact trying to say. Forgive me if I'm incorrect." Then they'll ask you to define every word of your statement ("What exactly do you mean when you say, 'foreign policy?'") and inquire as to how your comment fits in with John Adams' interpretation of "The Leviathan."
What's most puzzling to me about all of this is that I have a degree in journalism with a minor in political science. I took five classes alone on political philosophy, and learned everything about men from Socrates to Hobbes to Machiavelli to de Tocqueville to St. Thomas Aquinas. And I don't know one-tenth of the shit that these guys spew! Of course, that's mostly the lousy libertarians; the really good ones actually have something to offer and don't cloud it as much. And at least they care, which brings me to my next point:
You know what bothers me? People who are proud of their ignorance. I actually overheard a friend of mine at a party say, "Well, I don't agree with a lot of things that Bush does, but he's all about, 'God Bless America,' so he's all right with me." Good--um--God! When you know enough people like that, you begin to understand why Bush is such a lock with people who normally wouldn't associate with the antichrist. God, God, God. Say it loud and there's music playing! Say it soft and it's like--well, you get the picture. Of course, when I say God, somehow the mere mention of his name fails to elevate me among my fundie friends. Funny how that works; why is it Bush can get away with atrocities in the name of God, yet I'm the heretic for voicing a different opinion?
Another example of ignorance is the half of America that takes pride in not voting. Now granted, two-thirds of these people are probably doing the country a favor by staying away from the polls; still, why do people brag about it? And what is the deal with the politically active who chose not to vote in 2000, because no candidate appealed to them? In other words, no one running agreed with them 100 percent on all issues. How petty is that?
You know what bothers me? That, in this new and improved Moral Murrika, Whoopi Goldberg lost her endorsement deal with Slim-Fast for making a Bush pun while that Master of Decency Dick Cheney can tell a Democrat "Go fuck yourself" and still keep his job. That, and the fact that Cheney has his job at all.