The only thing worse than hypocrisy, in my eyes, is myopia. At least hypocrites understand the issues on which they rhetorically fail.
Ignoramuses are just too thick-skulled to even comprehend what they say. Unfortunately, this near-sightedness is the dominant theme in American politics. Many — hopefully all — of you voted yesterday. It doesn’t matter which party you vote for: I hope all of you were informed.
Too often in Madison, opinions are made without critical thinking. Every one of you ought to ask why you supported one candidate over the other. And your answer better not be superficial. When asking people why they prefer so-and-so over so-and-so, the common answers are, “Because he or she supports gay marriage” or, “Because they will reduce the national debt.”
Oh really? Prove it.
We ought to all be like incessant, annoying 4-year-olds who won’t stop making that simple request: Prove it.
Think Gov. Scott Walker is a corrupt, detestable tool of the Tea Party? Prove it.
Think President Barack Obama wants to “waste” your money on social programs? Prove it.
Then realize this myopic train of thought is the same exact modus operandi the radical Tea Partiers have chosen. For example, take the politician you have a passion of slandering and ask yourself why you detest them. Why do you doubt Walker or Obama? Because a column you read told you to? Who wrote that column? What political leaning did the author have? Did they offer facts? Were those “facts” advanced by a biased think tank? Are those facts refuted by other facts?
So the politicians you supported for president or Congress didn’t win. Or maybe they did. Either way, you shouldn’t be blind. Don’t be afraid to criticize the candidate whom you voted for. Be smart. There is so much myopic discourse thrown around Madison that every one of our readers should feel obligated to challenge it.
If you feel conservatism is right, then challenge liberal rhetoric to prove it is wrong. If you support liberalism, then challenge liberal thinking to strengthen it. The same argument goes for conservatism. Either way, don’t be a sheep.
This column could have been published the way it was regardless of whether Obama or former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., won the presidency. The sky will not fall if one certain party assumes the presidency or majority in Congress. View our country from Europe: The “two” political parties are really just different shades of one another. Where’s the Communist party? Where’s the far-right party? We don’t have them. If they exist, they are merely factions of the two central parties. Our two-party system is a joke compared to the rest of the world. Why don’t we see it as such?
Don’t be comfortable in your own personal political shell. It’s easy to forget there are people who disagree with you when the only political Internet forums you follow lean in the direction with which you agree. The Internet has the potential to infinitely contribute to political discourse, but unfortunately it can also easily lead to further polarization. Don’t fall victim to that.
I’m tired of hearing conservatives say liberals are close-minded and ignorant and liberals saying conservatives are close-minded and ignorant. The reality is both sides are and are not in certain instances. This country, and this state, have seen too much myopia and blindness.
The elections are over. But that doesn’t mean your work as an informed citizen is done. It never should be.
Reginald Young ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in legal studies and Scandinavian studies.