Thursday, October 25, 2012

Election 2012: Lost in the Wilderness

Here's something you may not know: we're in a dead heat as we near the election, and political fever is spreading.
The television has become a propaganda machine, the signs and stickers are popping up everywhere, and social media has become a battleground where hatred and a maddening allegiance to red and blue have become as common as quotes from songs and movies.  There are heated arguments, absurd assertions, and even a few thoughtful debates taking place, but much of what I see and hear is simple regurgitation.
Repetition is powerful; advertisers and politicians have already proven this time and time again, and now even our friends and neighbors have become talking heads, mindlessly parroting what their favorite talking heads have said. 
Both sides think that they're completely in the right and firmly believe the other side is completely in the wrong.  Some people think Duke from G.I. Joe and the Cobra Commander are out there on the campaign trail.  Seriously, how many times have you been on the sidelines for an argument of such a divisive nature where both parties weren't at fault?
Think for yourself.
One of the two candidates most have submitted to casting a vote for has a record that many consider to be an albatross about his neck that should drag him out of the White House before he can do any more harm.  His rival is a hard sell even for a great many of those who are ready and willing to buy cheap.  Virtually anyone else in this race who will command even a small fraction of the vote would likely be a superior option, but the powers that be want a two horse race, and as usual, this is a two horse race.  Will we ever see a significant victory, a true break from the status quo?  If it doesn't happen when we're floundering, it's hard to envision such an outcome in the midst of prosperity, should that illusion reappear and somehow become reality. 
I encourage political awareness.  I hope that my peers will soak it up, but I want them to be open-minded.  You can't weigh your options effectively and make a sincere decision if you make your decision before making a genuine assessment.  Watch and listen to as many different voices as possible.  None of them will tell you the truth, but the more pieces you collect, the better your chances of putting the puzzle together are.  Just don't start repeating everything you hear, and avoid pledging allegiance.  Once you bury your head in the sand, it's hard to find your way back.
Also, there are some things that you don't need to be told.  No one needs a weatherman to tell them what the weather is like just outside their door.  In other words, if you see a nice little chart or graph that portrays an alternate reality, you really owe it to yourself not to fall for the cheap tricks.  Oh, and the polls, could someone please save us from all these polls!  Really, just shoot me before you share another meaningless poll with me.  First, why should we even be so very concerned with what everyone else thinks anyway?  Place some value on your own opinion.  The harder you work to further your understanding of the game, the easier that will be.  The moral of the story remains the same: think for yourself.  Secondly, pollsters are manipulative shucksters running cons on the general public.  You can't trust those cats or their results.  They're paid to provide specific results, not to conduct a true survey.  For anyone who wants to learn more about polls and pollsters, I've provided a link at the bottom of the page to a fantastic segment c/o Penn and Teller that some may find particularly illuminating.
Let me see if I can close up shop.  It's really very simple.  Nobody likes a company man aside from the puppeteers, and it seems like this argument should see a significant boost if one narrows it down to company men from one of two companies, both of which suck.
Think, that's all I'm asking of you.
Hell, if you decide that one of the company guys is your guy, go ahead and vote for him.  I'll forgive you for that.  However, blindly pulling a lever without ever taking the time and effort to make an informed decision is pretty unforgivable.  I don't want to oversell on my way out the door, but I consider such a cavalier approach to the voting to be both an insult to anyone who ever sacrificed their life so that we could be blessed with such a privilege and a waste of time.  It's like that. 

Penn & Teller: Bullshit Polls

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