Friday, June 26, 2009

Stating The Obvious: Us Against Them Mentality Just Not Helpful

Apparently I'm a glutton for punishment, since I'm still reading the news and political blogs.

I linked from one blog to another and ran across this post, berating Keith Olbemann for reading the saucy emails from Governor Mark Sanford to his mistress, and taking such delight in them. Along with Olbermann's schadenfreude, the article also points out how he showed no concern for the wife and children in doing so.

I'd like to applaud the article, and say that maybe we're not so different after all, that American citizens of both political parties are tired of this crap. Then there was the snark that ruined it: “Attacking women and children is the vanguard of the Republicans”. This instantly turned what could've been a compassionate article showing what's wrong on both sides (left and right), into another swipe at the Republicans.

Personally, I don't care about politician's extra-marital affairs. I don't care if they're Democrats or Republicans. It's wrong, regardless of party affiliation. However, if they're able to do their job (I realize this is highly relative, given we're talking about politicians), I don't care what they do in their private lives.

That's not to say I condone it. It's wrong, and horrible for the other family members involved. The media is unethical in gloating the way Olbermann did (as many others have done before him), but let's face it, the person responsible for the family's pain and humiliation is the one who committed the deed.

Some point out that if they're willing to lie about an extra-marital affair, then what else are they lying about? What else indeed. We're talking about politicians here, and regardless of political affiliation, their default position is generally dishonest. Besides, how many people out there are going to tell the truth about an affair? Do you really expect them to?

As a side note: I love how it's assumed by the media that if you're conservative, you're also a Holy Roller. And don't they just love catching someone who has “conservative” values or “religious” values in the act of something sordid. So much spicier, if it's a hypocrite.

Fact is, human beings are going to screw up. Knowing this doesn't make it acceptable, and obviously being a hypocrite isn't good either, but there's nothing wrong with having these values to guide you, or to strive for. It's better than saying, “No point in having any morals or values since we're just going to booger it up anyway. Only human, you know!”

Anyway, getting back to the article above. The comments section, as usual, was venomous. All the usual toxic spittle about conservatives being hateful, sadistic, hypocritical, etc. It was a dogpile inciting every crazy out there. Which seems to be the case whether it's a liberal or conservative news outlet, blog, or pundit.

There's no unbiased media anymore. Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I want to believe there's more middle of the road Americans than the media portrays. We're just overshadowed by the screamers on each polarized side.