Imagine of group of like-minded people who thought of themselves as fine, gourmet chefs who make delicious and creative food. They strive to be the best cooks preparing the best food available anywhere.
But instead of practicing new cooking techniques, trying new ingredients or working to improve their own recipes, they walk around the yard tasting bites of dog shit. And every time they put the hot disgusting mess in their mouth, they spit it out, point at it and say “eww! That tastes terrible!”
They then go find another turd and munch on.
Would you find this productive? This is very much like how partisan media pundits seem to express their political opinions. For example, if one is an outspoken Democrat, he or she feels satisfied by placing about 99% of their political energy hunting down something terrible a Republican has said and declare it awful. And there is no short supply of terrible things Republicans say in the news. It’s not just the media, too many regular folk are like this too. Go visit Facebook or an Internet discussion board.
There’s no end to these terrible comments. If they can’t find one from a prominent politician or news commenter, they settle for some junior Republican state selectmen nobody’s ever heard of. If this person doesn’t say something bad on a particular day, they’ll even find some stranger/dummy who had enough money to buy a bumper sticker or typed something on the Internet.
And it makes them upset! Violently angry! If some dumb stranger who lives a thousand miles away says something ugly or stupid, why would anyone care? Why give somebody so much power over your emotions?
The conservatives do it right back, just as badly. So all of these people expressing political opinions are essentially walking around looking for some piece of shit that they’ll declare in not tasty.
I wish to say that this was limited to just dummies on Facebook, but there are whole sites dedicated to it (look at Huffingtonpost.com, alternet.org, dailykos.com, redstate.com) and entire major cable news networks, all tirelessly finding lumps of poo for their audiences to declare unsavory.
It’s never about creating something good, but just identifying the bad.
Just imagine if instead they turned inward to their preferred ideas and worked hard to develop them. Like if they worked to build their political theories to the best that they could be envisioned. They would hold up their own political ideas to rigorous assessments and criticisms using a methodology and talk in terms such as ethics, history, economics and outcomes.
Sure, people would still come up with imperfect and even wrong answers, but the conversations would be so much richer. And the ideas would get better.
Libertarians can be guilty of sampling some turds. But, boy, can they exhaust themselves criticizing each other, doing insane amounts of studying, and probably look more inward than any other group with a political worldview.
I’m not a fan of either partisan view, or government at all, but I would prefer it if people stopped tasting so much shit. Maybe I’m guilty of tasting a little poop myself in this blog, but in pointing out a fault I’m hopefully pointing out an opportunity too.