Politics and Baseball

Politics is not baseball.

This is why discussing politics with friends/family/coworkers really annoys me.

Not because I am ill-informed or don’t like to hear viewpoints other than my own. No, my real beef with discussing politics is the either/or, us/them mentality people on BOTH sides of the fence have towards politics.

People basically choose their parties like they choose their sports teams.

Around here, people are either Cubs fans or Cardinals fans (a little further north the distinction becomes Cubs/White Sox, but there are very few White Sox fans around here.) You are one or the other, never both. It’s the same way with political party affiliation.

People blindly choose sides based on how their dad/brother/boyfriend/best friend votes. Or they have one core “issue” they identify with and then choose to back all the other postions of that party. I’ve seen this a number of times. Because someone likes to hunt, for example, they decide they are a Republican. Regardless of whether or not the views of the party agree with the rest of their lifestyle choices, they back the Republicans and vote for them exclusively.

This leads to vast generalizations about people based on their party affiliations:

If you’re a Democrat, you’re immediately labeled a “liberal wacko.” You *automatically* become anti-gun, pro-choice, anti-death penalty and pro-welfare.

Meanwhile, if you’re a Republican, you must be pro-life, fiscally conservative, love Rush Limbaugh, hate the environment and love big business/rich people.

This drives me crazy because instead of using the parties as a stepping-off point for actual conversations/dialog/debate about serious issues, it turns into an us vs. them argument that can never be won. You can argue that the Cubs are better than the Cardinals, but the truth is, the Cardinals won the World Series and the Cubs didn’t. That doesn’t stop me from being a Cubs fan because rooting for a sports team is about emotion, tradition, and cheering for the underdog. Choosing how to vote should be about what you believe and how you feel about the issues.

For the record… I’m a Democrat. I’m pro-choice, pro-gun control, anti-death penalty, but have fairly conservative fiscal beliefs. I believe in protecting the environment. And helping people out when we can. But I’m not pro-welfare. I don’t believe in needless spending. I think business has its place in society and can serve the greater good. I don’t hate rich people. In fact, I’d like to be one someday.

(sidenote: blogging 101 tells me I should add more photos, so here ya go. and i think this is a poorly written post, so don’t be surprised if it gets edited tomorrow)


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