Monday, May 21, 2012

Changing My Politics

While I was off the net for nearly a month during my recent visit to Mt. Shasta I conducted a little personal experiment. Using the multiple channels of DirecTv I immersed myself in the polar opposites of politically partisan television. I watched endless hours of Democracy Now and other liberal media and (un)balanced that with all the conservative offerings I could find. I added any Book TV episodes with an author espousing a political message and did the same with Charlie Rose and other talk shows when they had pure political content. Finally, I watched all the Sunday morning politico panel broadcasts.

I did this because of a very jaded perspective I had found myself in concerning all things political. I am not normally a sarcastic or didactic person. I was a bit concerned at the direction my political observations were taking and wanted to check in to see if somehow my worldview was shifting in a way that did not adhere to my core beliefs about life, the universe and penguins.

Today I offer a warning to my several readers who are not fond of my political postings. There will be a veritable thicket of such content over the next fortnight or thereabouts. I have interspersed these political missives with more of my comforting internet images and I promise - there is an end in sight. I have received renewed insight into my own political process and once that is shared here, we shall move on to less partisan musings.

I guess I already began this mini-series a few days ago when I posted Obama the Politician. Today I wish to bring a bit of order to what has been boiling about in my brain. I was taking notes while off-the-net and perhaps this entire process will be better for the time I had to contemplate and organize.

Specifically about political television I wish to make several observations. The liberal side of the aisle is soft. The message is soft, the defense is soft, the argumentative is nearly squishy. Liberal commentators nearly always "see" the points made my the other side and universally offer to debate and compromise. Conservatives have a completely different modus operandi - they attack, slander, slur and take no prisoners. Rush Limbaugh is the perfected model but they all do it. Right wing talking heads never concede a single point to those pointy headed liberals. They find their own 18th century positions to be universally correct and usually ordained by god or the free market, which often seem to be the same holy entity.

Liberals political commentators are simply too kind to ever survive in the contentious arena that American politics is today. Conservatives are just too mean spirited to represent any living person who considers themselves to possess even a shred of humanity.

Even CNN and Fox, the two networks most identified as representing the opposing sides of American politics, even these two have attempted to counter their own image. Fox now was at least one talking head who regularly challenges outrageous conservative statements made on her show. CNN actually employs several conservative guests to balance their two-headed conversations. The problem is that partisan commentators show up with a list of talking points and they spew they out without regard to what questions are put to them. They all spin, which in non-politico speak means they lie, distort and conceal.

At the end of each of these news shows everyone smiles, like this is the way it is supposed to be. We are all just doing our jobs. We all know where that justification leads us.

Enough for today, enjoy the visual relief tomorrow. More politics on Wednesday.

1 comment:

TrumpinJoe said...

It's my impression that each side is nearly equal in vitriol, usually with the out of power party a bit stronger.