Somewhere along the way, politics has become the new religion. What do I mean by that? Well, with the so-called scientific age being in full swing, one would think that it would be fairly easy to spot logical fallacies. Surely, many people who are proclaimed atheists or agnostics can quote latin names for fallacies to the point that one could be forgiven for thinking they are in a Catholic Church during mass. Rightly, these people point out matters in religion that do not logically follow–or at the very least do not logically follow with the axioms they understand religion to have. However, these very same people, if presented with a politician that agrees with some of their ideology, completely switch their brains off and become as zealous as any Christian Crusader ever was. Yet, they have one glaring weakness–God can be an ideal and IS in fact an ideal, whereas a politician is NOT an ideal, and never will be.
Hope and Change are not Platforms
When Obama won his first election, he won it by elevating hope and change to a battle cry. When I would ask people what they thought Obama would actually do, practically speaking, they could not say. All they could say was that Bush had done a bad job, and that somehow Obama was going to do a better one. Obama made bold claims that he knew how to fix the economy. He did not disclose what he was going to do to fix the economy, but he claimed he had the solution. Four years later, I think it is safe to say he did not have the solution. If people had critically thought about what was being said during the first election, they would have noticed he did not have the solution. For that matter, neither did McCain.
Do You Like Love? Vote for me!
When someone runs on an ideology, they are intentionally vague about the details because this gives people room to interpret those details however they wish. In the 2012 election, I heard from people who were voting on one or two dimensions. They were voting on abortion, or on foreign policy where Israel was concerned, or on their own economic ideology. Once these dimensions were selected, there was little room for consideration of any other dimension. The election, to these folks, WAS about these things, and only these things, and to hell with the rest. Whatever one party said they were doing, the other was quick to say they were not doing.
What’s the Plan, Stan?
What is needed in a politician is a definitive plan of action shared with the public and then implemented once in office. It does not matter how much “hope and change” you offer if you have no solid, substantial way of getting there. It does not matter how moral and Christian you are if you cannot do the job you are elected to do. When politicians refuse to run on anything other than loosely defined ideology, and people vote for them and defend them on this ideology, they are fundamentally no different than the denominations of churches. The problem is, though, that while God might be infinite, politicians are very finite. When they get into office, it does not matter how nice their ideology sounded or on what dimension they gained the position–what matters is only what they do.
First Church of Obama/Romney
In the 2012 election, there were most definitively those who were in the Church of Obama, and those who were in the Church of Romney. The only sort of detail that emerged was that Romney wanted to cut government spending, and Obama wanted to tax those who had more money. The how’s and where’s and why’s where these issues were concerned were left unaddressed. How either of these solutions would help the economy were not particularly addressed either. Both of these solutions were typical party-line answers to a unique problem brought about in part by–you guessed it–party line solutions.
We do not need hope and change. We do not need more moral waxing where religion is concerned. We certainly do not need to worry about legislating abortion at this point. We sit on the brink of war and potential economic collapse. This is not doomsday prophesy, it is simple fact. The Middle East is destabilized and emboldened by the attack on our embassies. Iran wants to destroy Israel and has said as much in public speeches. Our economy continues to sag as jobs are not in abundance nor or houses continuing to be built. We are, on average, a much weaker country than we were ten years ago. If we continue to treat politics as religion, we will not see the issues that are before our eyes that MUST be addressed. We will be too busy thinking about uteruses, or pot, or gay rights, or a thousand things that are completely secondary to having a country in the first place. We need a discussion. We need solid plans. We need practical steps–and we need them now.
My Vote was to Not Vote
I did not vote in the 2012 election. I did not vote because none of the candidates offered me a plan of action I could believe in. No one had the balls to put their solution on the table. There was a lot of chatter about a lot of shit that did not matter. There were a lot of old solutions being applied as though they ought to work this time. It’s going to take taxing those with more money AND tightening government spending. It’s going to require supporting Israel WHILE developing a dialogue with Iran. (Probably one stern in tone) It’s going to require more than vague ideologies pontificated and maintained by the faithful. Save the church for Sunday, and let’s return politics back to something practical instead of nonsensical before we no longer have the option.
Did you see some fundamental plans laid out by either candidate? How much of the discussion centered on facts versus feelings? How many logical sorts of fallacies were used? Did you vote? Are you happy with the outcome? Comment away!