Saturday, October 11, 2008

a quick snapshot

I had an unfortunately contentious argument with some fellow parents today. The four of them were, shall we say, on the conservative end of the spectrum, and I am clearly not. Unfortunately, I was partly responsible for the contentious turn of the conversation since I saw it fit to drop plenty of my own opinions about the election, the mess we're in, and the record of the past several Republican administrations. What bothers me is not so much the substance of our debate—such discussions are important for society, I think. What bothers me is the rhetoric and anger that I let slip.

That said...

I thought about a few of the points I glanced on in the conversation, and it seemed worth putting a small inventory of them together:

  • Many of the foreign policy disasters we are still dealing with happened during Republican administrations. These include the removal of Iran's Prime Minister in 1953 under the Eisenhower administration, the support of and development of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship during the Reagan administration, and the support and development of Osama Bin Laden as part of the mujahadin in Afghanistan during the Reagan Administration.

  • Much of Palin's story is built on lies. The funny part here is that I wanted to provide one or two solid non-partisan links, but there were far too many good sources to choose just one. For now, though, here's a good start.

  • McCain's favorite economic adviser and co-chair of his current campaign really should take much of the blame for the current crisis. And that culpability began in the Reagan administration. Man, ain't deregulation great?!?

  • Obama and Ayers have never been close. In fact, they haven't had any direct contact in more than three years, and never "palled around together."

  • It strikes me as very interesting that this campaign almost seems like a contest between Obama and Palin at moments.

I'll come up with more points as the days wear on. Regardless, I learned an important lesson today: you don't persuade anyone by criticizing their people. Rather than attacking someone's candidates and listening to their attacks on my candidates, I should have asked a question. To wit, why should someone support McCain?

Had the conversation turned in that direction, I could have offered plenty of reasons I think someone should vote for Obama. And every one of those reasons would have been based in things I like about the man, his ideas, and his advisers.