Monday, September 15, 2008

Political Thoughts

Though I have strong feelings on politics and politicians, I'm not particularly well-informed so my passing interest isn't sustained and my dabblings don't extend to any great depth. Even so, I enjoy reading the occasional article or blog post.

Lately, the big discussion topic, of course, is McCain's selection of Palin as his VP running mate. I routinely feel as though many of the discussions miss the mark, however, since they're often focused on the superficial aspects and rarely delve into policy. Yes, she's a woman, and yes, she may have the odd position askew from the Republican base, but by and large Palin's positions and policies are in line with the conservative base. Regardless of her appeal, she's so conservative that I find it impossible to like her.

What always surprises me is how the "liberal media," a descriptor intended to cover every American news program not directly sponsored by an avowed Republican, and some that are, routinely fails to report and/or emphasize the pro-Democrat / anti-Republican stories. I might be tempted to use phrases like "fair and balanced" except it really isn't. By my internet perusal, I read ten times more interesting, fact-based stories (i.e., ones that actually can be supported by, oh I don't know, evidence) than ever appear on the news.

For example, the recent disclosure concerning military ops in Pakistan and US troops on the border being given permission to fire into Pakistan without provocation? That was reported about 21 min. into the NYC evening news with Katie Couric. The story lasted about 1 min. or so. With coverage like that, it's hard to believe we're privy to any news at all, let alone significant news such as, oh, our "recent" military involvement in Pakistan.

Admittedly I am a liberal and I'm annoyed when stories that interest me aren't reported or given much exposure, but you would think that I'd be less annoyed because it's a liberal media that is so clearly pro-Democrat. Or that's what I've been told.

Maybe I'm just becoming more cynical these days, I don't know. I actually expect the news media to give us news, preferably based on evidence and facts. Given that our country hasn't operated based on evidence and facts for the past 7.5 years, maybe my expectations are far-fetched. Probably just the scientist in me who wants to see a more scientific approach. Probably means I'm un-American or some such. Or that I'd like to see more accountability for those in charge who routinely and knowingly operated contrary to or in purposeful ignorance of facts and evidence. Could also just be my cynicism. Who knows?

While I have hopes for the election this November, I'm not very hopeful that the world will change and all will be right (not that it ever was, of course). I'm hoping for improvement, namely some forward movement that is more progressive than we've seen in a long time. Maybe some positive foreign relations and an improvement in the general attitude and view of America. Maybe a more inward-looking position that seeks to address our internal problems before attempting to impose our collective national will on others. Maybe I'm out of my gourd.

I'm pulling for Obama and hoping that America remembers some of the things that have happened in the past 8 years. You know what they say – those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I don't think we can afford to repeat this history. I'm not sure we'll still be here afterwards if we do.