An Angel In Devil\'s Shoes, Salvation In The Blues

Before I started blogging, I was a regular at various forums. I just checked one of those forums to see what the mood was like on All Shallows Eve. It's getting ugly out there. As I said before, politics brings out the worst in people. One poster on said forum stated that she could will be voting for Kerry because George W. Bush is a "terrible human being". When asked to elaborate her views, she replied that she will not debate this issue and that she takes offense to people asking her to reconsider her vote.

Another person said that Bin Laden wants Kerry to be elected president because "Kerry is a pussy". He also wrote, "IF YOU WANT A FUTURE FOR YOUR KIDS VOTE FOR BUSH."

Though one reason I wanted to start blogging was to escape the unsophisticated environment of the forums I read, things were never as they are right now. The mudslinging is getting fast and furious. There is desperation in the air. The effect of all of the kissing of babies, television appearance makeup, soundbite debating, negative campaigning, thousand dollar blacktie dinners, every-fiber-of-my-being speeches, and righteous indignation is reaching the boiling point.

Even though I don't vote, I can understand people who vote with skepticism, knowing that none of the major candidates are very desirable, and that they will lose out on many issues even if they gain on others if their guy wins. But what I really abhor are the people who treat their guy as some kind of messiah waiting to lead them to the promised land while viewing the opponent as the antichrist. You can find a lot of these types of people here, here, and here. Isn't it very unlikely that one candidate is all that is warm and fuzzy in the world while his opponent is the emperor of darkness?

I suspect that what goes on here is that people lie to themselves on a certain level. They realize that a candidate they have a few things in common with comes up short in many ways, and instead of admitting to this unpleasant fact, they find comfort believing pleasing falsehoods. They start to deceive themselves into believing that the candidate is not just the one most in line with their beliefs, but that he is congruent in every way. And vice versa for his opponent. It's more comfortable that way. Thus, the caricatured images are created in their minds.

I can't wait till 2004's tribal warfare ends and these people go back to being captivated by Scott Peterson and Dr. Phil. Of course, first they will have to go through the circus of accusing each other of 'stealing the election' for the next few weeks. Self-deception is a powerful drug.

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You hit the nail on the head

You hit the nail on the head by calling it tribal warfare. This sort of behavior is, like it or not, part of human nature. It's a hardwired part of our social interaction modules.

Which is not to give up hope, or say we shouldn't fight it or any of that. Just like we shouldn't all just let ourselves be fat because our programming wants us to binge on sugar. But it is an uphill battle.

I really like this post, it

I really like this post, it echoes a lot of what I've been thinking. The two sides have been acting in a rather pagan manner. Creating festivals in support of their god or trying to drive away the other with their curses and chants...
This is probably true of many elections, but this election seems really bad. I wonder how much worse it can get if Bush wins and 2008 is Hillary vs The Republican After Bush.

Agreed with Patri. This is

Agreed with Patri. This is not so much about self-deception but a deep-seated follow-the-leader instinct. Tribal was precisely the right word for it. My god is better than your god, my tribe is better than your tribe, etc.