December 26, 2006

Houston, We've Left the Capsule...

I love arguing politics. I'm willing to do this with everybody. It's part of my civic evangelism: people who haven't been introduced to rational thinking and actual facts can't be held responsible for their incorrect voting. It's up to me to help them (which helps the country, as well). Yay citizens! It's not just a job, its an adventure.

Arguing politics with in-laws is more complicated. Several of my basic arguments have to be left behind in the name of familial collegiality (for example, I can't just club them over the head when they say something egregiously wrong).

Anyway, being away from the people I normally argue politics with has introduced me to the general level of political knowledge in the country. Which is, in case anyone cares, somewhere beyond "Bad" and veering close to "Fucking Awful." I'm chalking up my failure to understand how bad things are to my interacting with an insular community of political science geeks and majors daily, which are not your everyday citizens. I realize I should have known that political science majors are not your "average" person, but in my defense sometimes the lack of knowledge held by PoliSci majors is (also) so egregiously awful that I forget that majors are likely several levels above the idiocy of the average citizen. I admit my error.

So, the most frustrating argument I run into is the crowd-pleasing "Well, I voted what I thought was right." Uh, no. It's not a matter of voting "right." It's a matter of doing the right thing. Now, reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements about politics - I accept that. What isn't acceptable is a lack of knowledge on your part that leads to bad votes. Voting is an important civic responsibility, and one I care about because YOUR DAMN VOTE ENDS UP FUCKING UP MY COUNTRY.Sorry. Deep breath.

Look, I realize that politics is something most people don't give two shits about, and those (few) that do only give two shits for about an hour every November, but is it vaguely possible that I'm the only person who has noticed that the quality of our politicians is directly and inversely related to the level of general knowledge of politics by citizens? More simply: if you knew more, the politicians wouldn't be able to act like retarded drunken syphilitic monkeys. (If you are unclear if that "you" applies to you, assume it does.)

An in-law used this on me. I am reduced to making blog posts as a poor alternative to my first (aborted) response (violence).

I may actually be looking forward to returning to my capsule.

Posted by baltar at December 26, 2006 02:13 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Crunchy Nutbars | Culture | Petty Rants | Politics


in my defense sometimes the lack of knowledge held by PoliSci majors is (also) so egregiously awful that I forget that majors are likely several levels above the idiocy of the average citizen.

This may actually be a general principle. I can attest, for instance, that the average man on the street is so freaking ignorant about basic investment principles that he should be forbidden to invest in anything more complicated than an index fund without some sort of serious hand-holding. And that said, most of the people in the business aren't really much better -- and some of them are far worse in that they fervently believe in (and sell, vigorously) some deeply ridiculous ideas.

(Speaking of ridiculous, I really need to tell you at length about my recent foray into the hedge fund business. Yikes.)

Posted by: jacflash at December 26, 2006 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

might as well chime in here that knowledgeable, restrained, informed and courteous -- in a word, professional -- lawyers are all too rare. charlatans and morons dominate the field.

Posted by: moon at December 27, 2006 05:38 PM | PERMALINK

Happy birthday, Baltar!

Posted by: jacflash at December 29, 2006 10:16 AM | PERMALINK
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