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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Comments

Chris

Well, there are those who don't follow politics like not following sports, and then there are those who don't follow politics because the air is poisonous.

To pay any attention to politics with King Dubya in office without being in a position to affect change is mental suicide. The religious nutjobs are systematically destroying the United States, both intentionally (justice for all, the Bill of Rights -- hell, the rest of the Constitution, too) and through rank incompetence (education, standards of living, standing in the world, science, technology, etc). Neimiah Scudder was elected in 2008, and there were no elections in 2012.

And there's nothing I can do. I, personally, can't quit my job and become a revolutionary: my family would starve, and we wouldn't have healthcare. You quickly understand what the average German citizen went through in 1933. I applaud and support those who are fighting the good fight, but I cannot personally watch politics without getting involved, and I cannot afford to get involved. So I have to ignore it. Unless _you_ can pay me, a very experienced autodidactic Mac software engineer with little else in the way of qualifications, to work for a progressive political organization. :)

I know full well that there's always been injustice, war, poverty, famine, and that there will always be. But these reckless wingnuts are opening the floodfates to all of the above. The human condition is -- to some extent -- suffering, but that doesn't make it right for us to turn our collective back on those who suffer more than others or to prevent the alleviation of suffering.

Wow, that touched a nerve. Sorry for the rant.

Derek

I think when people say they don't follow politics, it means they don't follow more than 1% of the asinine "the sky if falling" garbage that every politician says on their little soapbox. I'm only interested in the government actions that make them more transparent in my life. The otherwise intelligent people are just too smart to talk about a topic that usually involves misinformation, propaganda, and hurt feelings.

I barely watch football and television.

Derek

I think my comment is now strengthened by Chris's comment above.

John Blackburn

Individuals can certainly influence the world around them. That's true for everyone. You can direct this influence yourself, or allow others to direct it for their own ends.

Examples abound of individuals making a difference against formidable opposition, often through unconventional and modest means. Rosa Parks just said no. Ghandi and Betrand Russell just sat down.

German citizens in 1933 apparently saw advantage in collective inaction. But we have a Hitler example they didn't. And surely one of the lessons from 9/11 is that individual actions matter, and inaction can escalate effects.

Even when individual Quixotic gestures seem to get swallowed up and forgotten—like Tiananmen Square Tank Guy—they foster hope, and hope is huge.

Josh Carter

"I don't follow politics" is sometimes a polite way of saying, "I smell an argument coming on that will do neither of us any good, so let's not go there." In most open political discussions I observe, they devolve to argument that further polarizes people who are already polarized.

Gordon

Well, I generally agree with Chris' comments. It's too damn painful to pay attention to politics these days.

But another factor is that discussing politics can result in only one of two outcomes. Either we find that we agree, and then feed our mutual frustration. Or, we find that we disagree, and from that point forward I'm unable to think of you the way that I used to.

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