randysmith: (Default)
[personal profile] randysmith
So I'll say up front that I'm generally a couch potato when it comes to elections. On good elections I'll get someone who's put some real study of the issues (usually, shockingly, [livejournal.com profile] psongster) to give me a summary of the ballot questions and candidates, probe at the funny points, and make my decisions. On bad elections I'll wander into the ballot box wondering "Who am I going to vote for?". And I usually (again, unfortunately) vote something close to straight democratic, for all that I say enrolled as an independent; I just don't have a sense of republican candidates doing a great job of representing me, and the media sources I read and my biases leave me with a fair amount of distaste for what the republican party seems to do.

But here's the thing. The single issue I am most worried about politically today is growing partisanship and demonization. If I was to get politically active, that's where I'd put my time (it's already where I put some of my money). And people I know and respect vote republican. And the media source I think is the most cleanly biased (The Economist, and yes, I'm well aware they have strong biases) takes a fairly evenhanded view of the two parties. And the demonization and partisanship I have the most personal experience with come from the left and go towards the right. And I hate it--I think it's more dangerous for the health of this country than the Economic Crisis, than the National Debt, than Al Queda, than the War on Terror.

So if you're going to vote republican today I say: Go you. I hope the people you vote for represent your issues and values well, and if they don't, that you can over time find candidates that represent them better. And I hope that you and I can keep talking about those issues, and why we have different perspectives on them, and that your representatives and mine can do the same. And that maybe this country will find a way to actually communicate across the growing left/right divide. If we don't hang together, we may end up hanging separately.
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randysmith

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