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Politics: Ruining Civil Discourse Since 1796

Arthur Augustyn, Columnist

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With the election finally over, I bet most people don’t want to hear about politics for another four years. With that in mind, I’ll try to keep this brief because I feel the need to comment on the political climate of this country post-Obama re-election. I’m not really talking about actual politics, but more about people’s reactions to the results and how my faith in the human race dwindles every four years.

For starters, or rather as a disclaimer: I am not a part of a political party. I am registered to vote but was not able to vote in this election because my absentee ballot came in late (I am registered to vote in California, my home state). Had I been given the opportunity to vote, it would have been for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. However, I have donated $15 to the Obama campaign. I did this because my vote is inconsequential (since California is a blue state these days) but my dollar might contribute to something.

I donated to Obama because I thought Romney was a poor candidate, in the same way that I thought John Kerry was a poor candidate (of course I formulated this opinion in retrospect since I wasn’t very politically active in eighth grade). Voting for someone because they are NOT someone else is a bad reason. I think that is also the main reason why anyone paid attention to Romney or Kerry. The point of explaining all this is: I don’t think I am politically biased toward one party. I think they both have a tendency to make good and bad decisions (other quick point: McCain = good, Palin = Bad).

With that out of the way: I’m really tired of everyone exaggerating the future of this country and their political knowledge in response to this election. Specifically people who have obtained some media clout and following who are using their position in the media to be the most repugnant human beings in history. Here are some examples:

My favorite of these was a tweet from Donald Trump where he claimed Obama had not won the popular vote and the Electoral College was a sham. This was literally minutes after Obama’s victory was announced and several states had not even been counted yet. That particular tweet has since been deleted, since apparently we live in an era where you’re supposed to say whatever you want first and then check later if it’s stupid or misinformed.

If those messages are too classy for you, Buzzfeed put together a sample of the other ways humble Americans have chosen to express their dissatisfaction with the election result. On the other hand, if you like that level of crazy the twitter posts reached but don’t want any dirty language then check out this video from Glenn Beck where he calls Americans to buy farmland, guns and prepare for the apocalypse that will fester out from the East Coast.

It baffles me that these are leaders of a political party. They might not hold office but they are a source of information and credibility for many Americans. And they seriously think that Obama and democrats are here to purposefully cause the end of days. Apparently half of America wants nothing more than to plunge the earth into darkness through regulations and taxes. Thank god these conservative voices are around to call it out before it happens and save us from this impending doom.

I was not very politically active when Bush won his two elections, but I did live in liberal Massachusetts throughout his terms. Even though there were numerous complaints of policies and groans of each new slip-up Bush said during a press conference, it never reached this level of baby-crying. When Bush was re-elected, the sentiment was primarily: well that sucks, and then everyone moved on. Liberal Massachusetts stayed liberal; the same way that the conservative Bible belt will stay conservative in the coming years.

It’s irresponsible that these figures are promoting such un-American partisanship. I don’t know if their goal is to cement their leadership position in the future post-apocalypse conservative America or to gain ratings, but it’s inexcusable. Nothing is more depressing than to see grown adults act more immature than literal children. This applies to all local people who feel obliged to pick fights with people they know who disagree with them politically. “Obama won, your era of ignorance is ending.” Please save your demeaning tone for your tumblr blog that no one reads. Politics are meant to guide our country toward values we mostly agree on. Not to ruin civil discourse, one conversation at a time.

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