Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lack of courtesy...

At this point in the political season, it's a wonder that the mass of insults hasn't caused more problems than is the case. The Internet itself seems to release the inner meanness of a lot of posters on both sides of the coin.

It's probable, at least in my mind, that the access to Internet anonymity is the primary villain in the piece, but added to that is the discomfort too many people often evidence when thought that goes beyond the level of bumper sticker-isms is needed. Anonymity, though, is the primary culprit: people who are in essence ashamed of, or afraid of, their own opinions find it easy to create a new on-line identity to use in order to stir the pot without burning themselves...the anonymity serves as a long handled spoon with which they can ladle out opinions without having to worry about consequences to themselves. This is designated as a need for free speech, but free speech as described in the U.S. Constitution was never designed to protect those who speak freely from non-governmental consequences for that speech.

The utter inanity of many of the comments is one thing: that's a symptom of laziness combined with a lack of reading comprehension and is usually quickly evidenced by an inability to form coherent sentences. Selfishness is another feature of too many comments and quotes, as is stereotypical thinking. Sometimes it seems the old idea of painting many people with a broad brush has given way to using a powered paint roller to collect even larger numbers, pro or con.

I don't believe I've ever before seen the number of putative quotes from our Founding Fathers as is the case in the current election cycle. Almost every one is pulled out of the air by someone, then repeated a few hundred times by others, after which it is believed to be real.

Silly statements about what a politician will or will not do that are not based in the real and legal possibilities of whatever job is up for grabs also abound. People running for state government offices make claims about how they will affect Federal legislation, while those touting Federal candidates scream that their candidates will improve things in arenas that belong entirely to the states.

It's enough to make your head ache. Enough to make you want to shout "Shut the hell UP!"

It will be over in something under two weeks, for this cycle. Be glad. I sure will be.