Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why Post About Politics?

This is my first political post. I hope I am not opening Pandora's box here. Well, perhaps I would be, if anyone ever read this blog. ...This post is intended as a qualification to provide some background to future political-type posts that I have planned. ...I am not one of those people who believes we will be saved through politics. The Moral Majority, Take Back America; or, alternatively, the Great Society, Obamacare ... bleh. Leaders come and go, but the conditions keep heading the direction they were going to head. Laws can make things better or worse, but in a democracy like ours, they mostly just reflect the way social conditions were heading anyway. Example: gay marriage laws in many states. They passed because people want them. ...So why post about politics at all? Politics are unimportant in that they don't directly change things. But political discourse is important because (however much the spin doctors may try to distract us), it is a conversation about ideas. Political discourse is society talking to itself about what is good, beautiful, and true, and about what is hateful and worthy of condemnation. It is society talking to itself about what kind of society it wants to be. ...So even though the leaders we elect, the laws we pass, the votes we cast change virtually nothing, this conversation we are having can and does change things long-term. The terms used, the way issues are framed, the influential stories and scandals can change our perception of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. These things can help shape what kind of leaders will be around, a generation from now, to be elected. ...Luckily, political discourse is not the only conversation going on. There are much more powerful conversations out there. TV shows, movies, and our very lives all tell stories that shape our society. Compared to these, political discourse is more a thermometer than a thermostat. ...Nevertheless, sometimes very important things are said in debates that have been categorized as political. Very important truths, half-truths, and lies are uttered. Sometimes I want to write about these. Stay tuned!