February 26, 2008
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire – Jackson Browne
No one in the progressive movement can be particularly thrilled at the way election 2008 has played out. At least it looks like we will avoid Hillary but Obama does not exactly inspire progressive-land. He is machine bought and sold and was pre-selected for us before it all started. This of course is the ongoing problem of the corrupt two-party system and the lack of real campaign finance reform. That being said, there still is this little thing I like to call reality in which we all must live. I would love to be able to be a pissed of guy just screaming at the world for the sorry state of affairs we are staring at but there are bigger things at stake than my feelings. There are lives at stake. There is blood on the line. Whether you forgot it or not, there is still a war that needs stopping and eight years of Bush policies to undo. Do not let anyone fool you; this election is still extremely important.
It remains extremely important to the people in Iraq. Under President McCain, hundreds of thousands more people stand to die unnecessarily. It is extremely important to the soldiers of our country. Under President McCain they would stand to have to continue to serve to the point of breaking. It is extremely important to the working poor; the old middle class. Under President McCain they would stand to lose more jobs, more money and more healthcare as the Bush tax cuts become permanent. It is extremely important to our kids and the environment. It is extremely important to those being tortured in your name. It is extremely important to those being secretly wiretapped for no other reason than the government says they can. All of these things stand to be far more problematic under a McCain presidency. Would President Obama be a panacea for everything that ails us? Absolutely not. But he certainly would be far better than McCain and to a lot of people this is all very very, real and extremely important.
Unfortunately, there is a faction of people who have deemed this election irrelevant. They sound like the anarchists of old, pissed off at everything American, or maybe everything capitalist. They will expend a lot of energy to mock and deride those who lend any credibility to the system as is. They actually make the ridiculously flawed argument that there would be virtually no difference between Obama and McCain. They whine on and on about how Obama is a liar; like we needed to be reminded that politicians lie. They engage in revisionist history and the worst sort of negativity. In their world, everyone who does not lock-step to their end-of-the-world rhetoric is simply not intelligent enough for the debate or does not grasp history.
They are equal opportunity haters. They will pop into a thread about McCain or Hillary as well. Ron Paul? Nope, they attack anyone who lends any credibility to his cause also! They propose such whack-a-doo notions such as there is only one party, the right wing, of which both democrats and republicans are a part. No differences at all here folks! They will astound you with tales of why you shouldn’t vote for any of the candidates in the race and will actually make the ludicrous argument that you are giving your consent to corruption by participating in the electoral process! I kid you not. How do I know so much about their positions? Because they are on this website, responding to the work of good authors who take their time to try and provide some political insight for you. They hide behind well parsed sentences and faux indignation. They claim that any dissent is because the writer cannot handle criticism when the reality is that they are the constant when it comes to problems and here is why…
They offer no solutions. They offer nothing except their rampant negativity. They can tell you who not vote for (everyone) but cannot offer any coherent alternative. They dance around the “no ad hominem attacks” rule but they will lie and manipulate at far more egregious levels and they continue to erode the validity of opednews and the discourse we all seek. They bring the conversation down to a ridiculously inane level. I have considered the possibility they are actually trolls for the government, as I have seen this type of behavior before on now defunct opinion posting boards and websites. The reason why I would go that far is that I honestly do not believe that anyone with this mastery of the English language could possibly be this stupid. It would be staggering for me to actually meet someone so ignorant.
Now, I have been accused of being too reactive in the past and I am sure I will again. I am sure I have given as much as I have gotten from this bunch of clowns. I decided to research one of them tonight and I looked at the 40 comments they had made. Outside of two benign comments and one positive, the other 37 were nothing but rampant negativity, derision, mocking and offering no solutions. All the same rhetoric too. All show and no substance. I have been advised to ignore them but I think that truly misses the point. The point is that people come here to read opinions and editorials. There are many good authors here who take time out of their lives to provide a service, free of charge. The debate that ensues is necessary and important. This issue is not about disagreement, it is about people seeking to muddy a debate to the point that the message gets lost. That is their goal. It is a dishonest goal and it distracts people. It confuses people. Ignoring it lends credibility to the notion that the crap that they spew might just be true!
It is not. Is the two party system a cancer in our republic? Absolutely. That does not mean however there is really one party. That does not mean that it is irrelevant who you vote for. Is Obama bought and sold like 95% of our politicians nowadays? Absolutely. Does that mean he would not be infinitely better as president then John McCain? Please do not insult my intelligence. These are serious times and it calls for serious debate and the 15 minute are now up for the crowd that thought they could rant and rave and offer nothing in the way of viable solutions. They are selling empty words. They are selling anger and hate. It is time to tell them you are not interested in buying it anymore. There are lives at stake. Never let anyone cheapen the importance of your role and your vote. There are still lives in the balance and this debate is too important to be left in the hands of people who do not seek an honest debate.