Mudslinging

I don't understand this.  I really don't.  I mean, yes, I know the claim that's being made.  And I know it happens.  And I know it happens all the time.  That's what I don't understand.  Why do people feel the need to take something someone else said out of context and use it to make them look stupid?  Why is this such a popular tactic?  Why does the American public fall for it, and even engage in and encourage it?  I just don't get it.  Will I ever live to see a debate that's an actual debate?  Will I ever see a campaign where the discussion remains on the issues at hand?   I haven't yet seen one.

Ok, so Obama said "you didn't build that" and the whole of Facebook is exploding with people criticizing him up one side and down the other for saying it.  I'm not an Obama supporter.  I most likely won't vote for Romney or Obama.  I don't think that either one of those men represents my own ideals well.  So, I won't vote for them.

But, I'm not against Romney because he's Mormon, or because he put his dog on top of his car, or because he won't release his tax returns.  I'm against him because I don't like his policies.  I don't agree with him.  And I don't support Obama for the same reason.

However, most people aren't like that.  Some people might vote for Obama because he's black.  Some people might vote for Romney because he's white.  Some people might vote for one or the other simply because that's the party that they belong to and they always vote for the candidate that party supports.  These are all ridiculous reasons to vote for someone.  Learn what these people stand for.  Understand their policies.  Decide for yourself whether they represent your own views.  Then vote.

Why are we spreading all of this disgusting nonsense?  Why are we taking things people say out of context?  Why are we taking one simple phrase that someone said and making such a huge deal out of it?  To me, all it says when you do something like this is that you really don't have a leg to stand on and you're relying on making the other person look stupid so that people won't realize that you're not presenting a real argument.

If you have a real argument, present it.  Enumerate your views.  Say how you feel on an issue, and why you feel that way.  Present your opinions.  Don't make the other person look like an idiot.  Don't attack him and make it about whether he wears magic underwear or whether his skin color is different.  These are all logical fallacies.  Straw man, ad hominem, red herring.  Don't do it.  Don't participate in it.

I like a good laugh as much as the next guy.  And I think there's value in humor.  I even posted a picture on my wall a few days ago that was a horse strapped to the top of an airplane, with a caption that said something like "this is how Romney's horse is getting to the olympics".  I thought it was funny.  And I still do.  And I think that's fine.  And I think it's great to make fun of Romney for putting his dog on top of his car, and to call that animal cruelty, or whatever you want to call it.  But, I think it's an absolutely stupid reason to decide whether you want to vote for Romney.  Don't vote for Obama because Romney put his dog on his car.  Don't vote for Romney because Obama said "you didn't build that".  Vote for a candidate that you can believe in.  Vote for one that you support.  Vote for one whose views are your own.

I'll most likely vote for Ron Paul.  And, I still think he has a chance of getting the republican nomination.  I really hope that he does.  I would not mind another 4 years with Obama in office.  I really wouldn't.  I know that he's in favor of gay marriage, and I like having a man as POTUS who supports my right to marry the man I love.  With him in office, I'm sure we'll make great progress in the area of gay rights.  With Romney in office, I dread to think what would happen.  Romney has promised to reinstate DADT, and to make a nation-wide ban on gay marriage.  That would be horrible.  That would be a giant step backward.  So, I hope that Ron Paul takes the republican nomination because that way Romney won't have a chance and I don't have to worry.  The worst Ron Paul would do for gay rights is say that each individual state has the right to make the decision on whether it should be legal, which is the way things are anyway.

But, whether you like Ron Paul or not, whether you think I'm smart or stupid for supporting him, don't choose your candidate based on silly reasons.  Have actual, logical reasons for voting.  Learn what's going on.  Don't just make fun of the other guy, or have your opinion manipulated by such mudslinging.  That's stupid.