Thursday, January 06, 2005

And The Sheep Shall Follow...

Ok...Politics. Can't live near DC without getting sucked into them.

I don't have any problem with someone being a Republican or a Democrat or a Conservative or Liberal or whatever, so long as you have actually figured out what it means to you. What I have a HUGE problem with is people calling themselves a whatever just because their friends are or their parents or because they blindy follow what the talking heads have to say.

Case in point. My sister, Courtney, is a Republican. I discussed this unfortunate fact with her, to see if she was one of the sheep or an actual human. She is very much a traditional conservative when it comes to law enforcement, schools, and other motherly issues. I can totally respect that. She also doesn't blindingly follow the turkeys on the tube like O'Reilly, Hannity or Rush, thank god. I can also respect you if you honestly believe that Bush is a good leader...I think I can, anyway.

What I can't respect is if you believe Bush is a good leader on the basis of a circumspect following of the news stories without digging deeper. The flip flop stuff and Swift Boat BS, on the face of it, told a good story. Too bad the story falls apart when you actually dig into it. This goes the other way too. Kerry and friends weren't the most honest peeps in the world either. The trust, as it always does, lies somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, the sheep in my mind is anyone that blindly follows an ideology without challenging it. Unfortunately, most of our country consist of sheep because challenging your belief system is uncomfortable and, in the immortal words of Bush, is hard work.

Thoughts anyone?

10 comments:

Bunny said...

Well, as a registered Democrat who voted Republican, I like to think that I have tried to see what both candidates had to offer. I have to say that Kerry really did "flip-flop;" every time I tried to understand what he was saying he changed his tune to try and tell people what they wanted to hear. I try to stay away from generalizations and I try to avoid the "sheep".

Ryan said...

Without a doubt, both sides 'flip-flopped'. What was disappointing to me is the portrayal of them. For example, here are two lists of flip-flopping, one of Kerry's and one of Bush's. Both are partisan lists.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/3/7/213753/1954 contains some of Bush's reversals. http://www.pardonmyenglish.com/index.php?p=399 contains some of Kerry's reversals.

A good article on an analysis of the portrayal of the two: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43093-2004Sep22.html

So my beef here is that perception of such things and the lack of digging by those I refer to as the 'sheep' of both sides to try and arrive at the actual truth. The art of election politics is getting the message out and controlling perception. The art of governing is a lot more subtle than that, I dare say 'nuanced'. Kerry couldn't figure out how to control perception, Bush could. And the sheep did what sheep do, and followed.

The final thing I'd like to ask is, whose reversals were more damaging to our nation, both in the view of the world and at home in general? That was my guiding light when I voted.

Ben said...

I am a registered Democrat who tends to lean more towards the Republican side of many issues. Here's what I have to say:

1. Kerry changed his story. A lot. One minute he's pro gun, another minute he's not, etc. But that's all political posturing that most candidates go through. The real 'flip-flop' issue was Kerry's support for the war in Iraq. Bush pounced on the fact that Kerry voted in favor of action and then pulled that support back. However, if you look at what Kerry was saying when he voted for it, he specifically used phrases like 'Immediate threat' and 'Last resort'. When Iraq turned out to not be an immediate threat, he of course pulled his support of the war (not our soldiers, but that is another story). The bottom line is that, on this issue at least, Kerry adapted to the situation at hand.

2. Bush has been saying the same things over and over (despite occasional mis-pronunciations). Even though it's pretty obvious to anyone with a brain that Iraq didn't have WMDs, he's still saying that Iraq was an immediate threat. It seems to me that he jumped the gun a little bit, especially the part about bucking the international community and making this 'our fight'.

So what it boils down to is, who would you rather have leading you: someone who can adapt to a changing situation but never says the same thing twice or someone who is focused on a mission but can't change that mission when they're about to drive off a cliff?

Bottom line: I don't like either of them. I voted for Kerry because Bush already had his chance to screw things up.

JMc said...

I'm sort of with Ben in that I wasn't really crazy about either one of them. So, I chose what I viewed to be the lesser of two evils, which I think a lot of people did. I also leaned towards Bush for a couple of more selfish reasons: First, I was worried about Kerry raising taxes. Second, being in the industry that I'm in, I was worried about Kerry cutting defense spending. Anyway, that's my two cents.

Silent Joe said...

My whole philosphy for politics has been "For lack of a better option.."

Either "major" canditate sucked and I wanted neither in office. I went with the lesser of 2 evils, Kerry. All this BS about not changing horses etc.. just pushed me harder into Kerry. I strongly supported Dean and wish he would not have dropped out of the race. Getting pretty tired of this 2-man horse race with only 2 parties strongly represented in the political races.

In Americas future, there will be a lot of "wholey sh*t, what have we done" coming from alot of people... Just think, now that Bush won this election, Hillary can now run for president on the primary ticket in 2008. God help us all then.

For the record, I am registered "Independant" because I believe strongly in portions of both sides and choose not to align myself with a major party. Not one party meets all my requirements.

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

Well, attempting to stay on the "sheep" topic,..

I think it's a give and take between the press and the public. I think that part of the problem is a lack of "good" information. Somehow two people arguing, often quoting baseless facts, passes for debate, now. But I think that viewers are also to blame because the majority accept it, and don't demand better.

--
Dave

P.S. I would have been more impressed if you managed to work in "Need some wood?"

P.P.S. circumspect? Did you buy a thesaurus?

Ryan said...

Right, debates now, for lack of a better term, suck balls. They used to be four hours and you had to actually know your stuff, instead of an almost scripted act like a witness at a trial that has been coached.

And don't even get me started on those so-called 'public meetings' of Bush's during the campaign where only devot supporters of the great one were allowed to attend. If that didn't give you the willies in a democracy I don't know what would.

I totally forgot the 'Need some wood' comment, crap.

As for circumspect...I'm an executive now, I have to use big words! :)

Ben said...

Well, it's official. The U.S. has called off it's search for WMDs in Iraq without finding any significant evidance of anything threatening.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/12/wmd.search/index.html

Granted, Iraq is a big place with lots of barren terrain, but this looks to me like a serious blow to the credibility of our intellegence agencies and the Bush administration.

Ryan said...

Nothing will come of it because the offical reason for war is now 'we had to free those people'. Freedom is on the march. Hard work. Blah blah blah. Jerks.