Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Annoying Politics

I’m still working my way through Bioshock, so more on that and a response to Duvall’s post later. It’s engrossing, although I’m not sure that it quite reaches the level of “games as art.” Nevertheless, it’s an interesting exploration of Objectivism and where it all falls apart. Question: do gamers generally find Objectivism more appealing?

Anyway, this post is about the ’08 Election. A couple sound bites/positions have annoyed me to an unusual degree, and I thought I’d rant here.

Flip-Flopping – We all remember this: Bush supporters who lambasted Kerry for being a flip-flopper on his Iraq War vote. Granted, it was a politically brilliant sound bite (for Bush).

Fast forward four years, and many of those same Republican supporters are being asked about Romney and his flip-flopping. Perhaps it's the media echo chamber, but the majority of responses from Romney supporters have been “He flipped the right way, so I’m fine with that.”

Which of course means that going back on your opinion is not the horrible thing that Bush makes it to be. These guys don't care about flip flopping: they care about ideological agreement. What gets me is that they just can't admit that. It strikes me as dishonest, or perhaps self-deluding/denial.

Barack “Hussein” Obama – This has been in the news more recently. Slate had an article about it, where Republicans were calling attention to Obama’s middle name and essentially saying “We’re not trying to send a political message. We’re just calling him by his name.”

Sure. And Fox News was a model of journalistic ethics when it ran the madrassa issue (I’ve been to Obama's school, by the way. It’s gorgeous.). The issue I have with this is that it taps into something ultimately nasty and destructive in American politics (or really all politics) - the need to exclude what's different. It's exactly why we've been so unsuccessful in the War on Terror: the U.S. simply cannot work with or deal with individuals when they cast them as an undifferentiated, sometimes incomprehensible group.

And when you stoop to calling out a candidate's name because you want to draw negative associations with Islam, you appeal to and empower those instincts. I'm glad John McCain rebuked that radio talk show host. But I only expect more of this from the 527s as the campaign progresses.

Anyway, for something a little more fun, check out this blog.


hcduvall said...

A greater percentage of people who can be bothered to comment on the internetfind Objectivism appealing than in the general populace. Gamers though, are mostly concerned with how cool shooting something looks/sounds.

Politically, I know what you're saying, but "gorgeous" hardly seems like a compelling retort.

I up see your funny/hipstery blog ("hipster" being a word they should've inserted in the title, but may'be too on the nose. I highly approve of the most popular post though)--and I raise with this. No not fake. Yes, his son.

Jonny America said...

Wow, those are two mighty links. Chengora's link is new, but it seems to have exploded. I guess the author really touched a nerve. Also, he (or she) seems pretty prolific--one or more posts a day.

HoBs said...

so of course, there's always lots of "confirmation bias" of only finding fault in your opponent.

though Romney was ultimately done probably in large part from his flip-flopping.