Friday, September 16, 2005

Binary Politics

This two-party thingy that the US has going is so boring. "You're with us, or you're against us" bumbles our dear Prez. The only problem is, for a mind more nuanced than W, there are more options in life, though not on the ballot paper.

Social dinner conversation:

Me: " If not for some things, there is a high likelihood of me being Republican."
(That I cannot vote is immaterial here. An Indian holding forth on politics/cricket is extremely common.)
A couple of wide-eyed looks around. These expressions are in jest, as I've committed the sin of actually coming out for this government, although I've done nothing of the sort.

Me, a few minutes later in the conversation:" Well, a better way to put it is that I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative"

Someone: "Then you're libertarian".

Me: Um...

I hate tags of all sorts. My opinions on each issue are formed by the issue at hand and my dogmas (which I have very few of). Over the course of time, I've seen that my beliefs align with being libertarian, but I'd like to resist that tag, solely because I dislike it. There are people online calling themselves libertarian whose tone of writing I find condescending and superior. If being libertarian means being like them, I think I'll pass.

However, what is it with this binary mode of thinking? Why does everything have to come down to whether you like this head of state and his cohorts or not? Maybe you don't like some of what's going on. There are other things that they may be doing right(OK, I don't see anything myself). I thought politicians taking cheap shots during national crises was a bad thing. Seeing all the Democrats taking shots at this (admittedly bumbling) President makes me cringe. I mean, we know Global Warming's happening, but America responsible for the hurricane? Get a life.

Of course, the conservatives have done themselves a world of good by aligning with the evangelicals. God hath wrought this fury upon the devil worshippers indulging in the revelry of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. But, but, but, don't the Mardi Gras revelers leave on the next flight out, leaving the residents to their jazz and blues? Is spring break in Florida not equally wanton? And I'm sure Halloween in Boston isn't exactly kosher.

I'll make up my mind based on the facts. The problem is, biased media all around refuses to give me the facts to make up my mind. No wonder no one in the US trusts the press any more. Fair And Balanced indeed.

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