Reality Checked

We really are living in two realities in America. One of them must be completely wrong, but how do we deal with that? I’m trying not to pick sides, but one side believes our president is a secret Muslim, communist, fascist, dictator who wants to institute shiara law, take away their guns, and destroy democracy. The other side thinks Romney is a bit of a rich dude with all the pros / cons that come with that.

I’m not suggesting there aren’t reasons to vote for Romney.  Everyone gets their choice, and hey, I could give a damn who you vote for.  It’s your call.  But if you’re voting for Romney because you believe any of the above about Obama, you need to stop a moment and ask yourself is this really true?

I’m not trying to step on anyone’s toes, but if the only reason you like Romney is because you fear the ridiculous boogeyman that Obama clearly isn’t, then I just don’t know what to say about that.

This isn’t about politics.  Politics are dull and boring and, at the end of the day, it all seems to work out the same regardless of who we vote for.  I believe in democracy.  I’m just not sure I believe it’s very good at getting results.  But what do I know?  I’m just one guy.

Still, it’s hard not to deride this nonsense.  And frankly, I’m no longer in the mood to tiptoe around it.  Bullshit is bullshit.  There’s no two ways about it.  And while I expect disagreement (when have we ever been a harmonious species?), I also expect a certain level of clarity.  You can live in a fantasy world all you like, but don’t expect me to not call you on it when it starts getting this delusional.

Just because you fear something, doesn’t mean it is something to be feared.  For so many, the Obama presidency is like some lurking monster.  It hasn’t actually done much, but it’s out there.  Just waiting.  Like a legendary beast that everyone’s heard about, but no one has seen.

And to my conservative friends, I respect your views.  I don’t have to agree with all of them.  But I won’t call you un-American for having them, and I expect the same courtesy in return.  And I expect mature adults to act mature, to voice their concerns fairly and honestly, and to never resort to scare tactics or outright falsehoods.

We can all do better, folks.  And we should want to do better.

Keelah Se’lai

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,


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  1. JB Sanders
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I would have phrased that a little differently. I respect the right for you to have your own opinion, but not the opinion you hold. That’s like praising the artistic merit of a four year old who won’t finger paint with anything but his own poop. It might be pretty from a distance, but really stinks on closer inspection.

  2. Dan
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s not a right/left thing. There are people who want to believe the worst about their political opponents, and they are the loudest approaching election time when their opponent is in office, particularly in the presidency.

    In 2008, I heard some amazing things said about Bush/Cheney. Specifically, Bush was going to “fake another 9/11” so that he could declare martial law and install Cheney as the next president. Furthermore, if Obama was elected, he would not survive to take office, because Bush/Cheney would not let the Secret Service protect a black man. They were also going to suppress black voter turnout by instigating riots on election day in key urban neighborhoods and locking down all traffic.

    These were all delusions proffered by people I knew on the left.

    For the last four years, the volume of similar craziness has been cranking up on the right.

    It’s not that we have crazy people on the right or on the left. It’s that we have crazy people who can’t seem to look at politics sanely. Unfortunately, these crazies seem to be the loudest, and anyone who calls them on it is labeled a puppet of the evil opponent.

    I don’t have a solution, but I’m pretty sure it’s not to say that the craziness exists on only one side of the political spectrum. It’s in both, but one pops up louder than the other based on who is in office.

    • A. Lee Martinez
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I certainly agree that both sides have their crazies, but I think it’s unfair to suggest that both are given equal consideration.

      Yep, I heard the absurd conspiracy theories about Bush / Cheney too, but they weren’t discussed in any seriousness by the media or the country in large. The conservative loonies are definitely given more of a voice than the liberal loonies, and it’s okay to admit this.

      More importantly, Obama’s campaign never trafficked in such nonsense against McCain. No one in the Obama campaign suggested anything as ludicrous as the Romney campaign has aimed at Obama. Not just political attacks, but outright lies that are immediately rebutted by outside sources.

      But I think also that “who is worst” is a pointless discussion. Who knows where it will be in ten or twenty years? I have no reason to believe that either side can’t improve or get worse. But right now, at this moment in history, the right in general (and Romney in particular) are full of wingnuts and paranoia in a way that just isn’t there in the mainstream left. To suggest otherwise is to ignore the truth.

      And again, for the record, I don’t think anyone has to be crazy or extremist to vote for Romney unless they’re voting for him because they fear the imaginary Obama boogeyman.

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