All You Need to Know About Politics…

All I need to know about politics I think I learned when I was in 4th grade.

During the debate about health care reform, I became fascinated by the language partisans used to make their arguments. How the law’s supporters and opponents used language to advocate their respective position became more interesting than the reasoning they used (or misused) to draw their sound (or unsound) conclusions.

Now that the health-care debate is over (or is it?), politicians are arguing about something else (it doesn’t really matter what), using the same silly arguments, name-calling, and posturing.

When I was in grade school, we played a game called “Pirate’s Prison,” which was a variation of dodge ball.  And as I watch the news, and listen to the likes of Sean Hannity and Norman Goldman, I realize that political discourse is pretty much a less-civilized version of that game that I loved so much. Instead of rubber playground balls, politicians, reporters, and activists whip truths, half-truths, and lies at each other, hoping to knock out their opponents. The game is a frenzied battle that leaves the combatants battered, bloodied and bruised. Who needs gladiators when we have talk radio?

So, I wrote a story that describes my view of what poses as political “debate” in America. Maybe if we see how silly and immature these debates have become, we will be able to lift or discourse from absurdity into a realm where logical arguments are just that: conclusions derived from correct reasoning.

Sure, a realm where logic prevails may not be as entertaining as the absurd world of partisan bickering, but if I want to be entertained, I’ll watch Family Guy!

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