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Thursday, July 22, 2004

I'm a grump

Yeah, call me grumpy because I point out that as we inch closer to election day, those who have an entrenched, established, unwavering side like to become more entrenched, more established, and more unwavering (if that is possible) in their positions.

I have pet peeves. Among them is the mind-pounding headache I get from reading people base arguments on illogical, ideological and/or demagogical rationale. This isn't a football game. This is not a zero-sum match. If the Democrats get something done, or want to, then it doesn't mean that Republicans lose points. Or vice versa. The name-calling is getting no one anywhere, but it is giving me a headache. I browse the net because I want to learn something that I wouldn't learn anywhere else. "Bush is Hitler" teaches me nothing. "Kerry's wife has a lot of money" advances my knowledge not one bit.

And here's news: It doesn't move anybody. You will never convince your conterpart that you are right by shouting that Michael Moore is fat. You will never convince them that you are right by showing a picture of Bush with a goofy look on his face. You are succeeding not in altering your "enemy," or in persuading the vast middle (the vast, pragmatic middle seeking answers and explanations) to your cause. You are, however, giving me a headache.

Of course there's an easy answer to all of this, and I am well aware of it: Don't read the articles or posts. And that's all well and good, but I'm a curious fellow. And when I poke my head in and see someone say something that is so partisan, so outrageously one-sided and unsupported, I have to point it out. No, I don't have to suffer fools. But sometimes it's satisfying to tell a fool they are insufferable.

So if I'm "grumpy," it's justified.

Look, the bottom line is I'm trying to spread a message that everyone needs to take a step back and think about walking in the other guy's shoes for a while. In that way I'm like Johnny Appleseed. Except without the apple seeds, and with a penchant for looking at ladies naked bottoms.