Conventional no more

AP Photo/David Goldman


What I seek in politics can no longer be found in America.

It frustrates me, and it should frustrate you, too. The political atmosphere in America has become extreme and polarized to the point where we shouldn’t ever discuss politics with our friends or, sometimes, even our own families. Even worse, we seem to be talking about it even more, and more openly, these days.

Politics is one of those things where you look really dumb spouting off if you don’t know what you’re talking about. The average American doesn’t have the time to study candidates, so they turn on whichever news network they feel suits their beliefs best (that in itself should upset you) and watch 10 minutes of pundits every night.

What you hear: you have to be on one side or the other on every issue. If you’re a conservative, you are a bigoted racist. If you’re a liberal, you stand for nothing and have no morals. If a candidate believes it’s best to be fiscally conservative, yet socially liberal (or vice versa), they have a very short political career. Choose a side and proclaim your allegiance to everything that side believes in, or else.

And if that’s the case, what’s the need for these over-the-top conventions that rarely venture into a discussion about politics that could help sway the voter anyway?

We’re more interested with elected officials that are cool, nice guys or girls. Why? Is that the makeup of the most successful politicians?

I’ll let you decide the answer to that on your own.

Last week’s Republican National Convention featured speech after speech from politicians and public figures that went after President Obama. This week’s Democratic National Convention seems to be loaded with speakers who want to tell you Mitt Romney is George W. Bush’s long-lost brother with identical political beliefs.

Is that what you wanted to hear? Is that going to help you make an educated decision at the polls in November?

I’ll let you decide.

On Tuesday in Charlotte, Ashley Judd told the Washington Post’s Emily Miller, “That’s what (the DNC) is about — honestly giving the American people the facts about everything that has been achieved and being very clear about the president’s policies and the ongoing improvement that will manifest in the upcoming four years.”

Really?

Don’t get me wrong — I think Ann Romney and Michelle Obama are fantastic women. But why do we need to hear stories about why they think their husbands are swell guys? What is that doing for you when it comes to making an informed decision at the voting booth?

I’ll let you decide.

Coming up, 6-year-old Suzy will speak to the audience in Tampa about how Mitt Romney once saved a three-legged dog from wandering into traffic. We’ll tell you why that would make him a fraud in the Oval Office, next.

Please, let’s just skip these worthless conventions and get to the debates, where the candidates will call each other names to their faces instead of from a podium 800 miles apart. There’s no need for the delegates to meet in a central location to decide their party’s candidate; Both of them have been campaigning for months.

Just text it in, if you even have to do that.

I’m open to hearing anyone’s dissenting opinion on this topic (dissenting opinion? Listening? You don’t say!), because maybe there’s something I’m missing. Until then, I guess we’ll just sit back and listen to two parties argue about abortion.

I’ll let them decide.

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