Sunday, June 28, 2009

picking a fight

"I love arguing with those guys." ~My Uncle

So today we were at a party. I use the term "party" loosely because it was my mom's great-aunt's 80th birthday party. Seriously. There was cake, there was music, there was a lot of beer. So, I guess it was sort of a party. It just didn't feel like one because I didn't actually know anybody there, except my Uncle... and my immediate family... and my mom's great-aunt.

Now, my uncle has an underdeveloped political view that basically consists of whatever Rush Limbough tells him. I wouldn't have a problem with this... actually I don't. The problem with it is that the rest of my mom's family are politically liberal (not the classical kind). They love Obama, my uncle hates him. I mean, hates, as in the biblical hate=murder kind. So, naturally, my uncle picked a fight. He's Italian, he has a "latin temper" (if I tried it, they'd say I was a jerk, right Michael?)

And, man, what a great way to make the party interesting. I was board out of my skull until that fight got started. I didn't actually notice any logic used, but there were some great verbal jabs. According to my uncle, Obama is an idiot (wrong), that he made the situation in Iraq worse (idk), and that his economic policies will kill this economy (yeah.) According to my sort-of-other-uncle, Bush is an idiot (not far wrong), we shouldn't have been in Iraq in the first place (Not going there, but I think so), and that socialism is awesome (I've actually never heard someone say that, it was cool.)

My problem with this whole thing. My uncle intentionally started an argument that he knew would not end in resolution, neither side admited that the other was right, there was just... argument. Thankfully, my mom's great-aunt didn't notice (did I mention it was her 80th birthday?) so it didn't ruin the party for her. But... I thought it was extremely disrespectfull.

Now, I'm trying to draw a lesson from this. First, I think that I hate the party system. I knew that before, but watching my uncle and my sort-of-other-uncle using the words "democrat" and "republican" as insultes really made me hate the way this country runs its politics. Second, I figured out that I have a very weird political philosophy, that may or may not be fully developed. It was wierd finding myself agreeing with my sort-of-other-uncle more often than my uncle, but, they didn't bring up a lot of important issues. Thirdly, I am glad that I was able to witness what was without doubt an argument "for argument's sake". It was ugly, it was a negative example.

Lastly (semi-unrelated thoughts) my sort-of-other-uncle had a bunch of environmentalist bumper-stickers on his car (along with a Coexist stiker [which... is a bad thing to have? I'm not familiar with the movment, but coexisting sounds okay to me]) So.... where was I going with that? Uh... Something about debate, and why is it that environmentalism always seems to fall under the democrat camp? Until next time, some bumper-sticker wisdom: Think globally, act locally. Sounds like a good idea to me.

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