Election Time Polarization

The two-party system is awesome, don’t you think?

For the next fifty-five days or so, most of the US will be bombarded with information about the upcoming presidential election. If my current Facebook feed is any indication, I’ll have to put a lot of people on “ignore” status for the next few months.

It’s not that I am not interested in their viewpoints on the topic, but I am discouraged by the overall approach I see.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that several of my high school classmates were promoting Romney messages, then another one of them put out a post that said “I am disappointed by how many of my former classmates are promoting the wrong message”.

Since we are not all following the same people, it could be that I mis-understood this post, but I know the person well enough to know that I didn’t. He is pro-Obama and I am not surprised by his comment.

But what is really getting to me is the current onslaught. I am seeing post after post about why NOT to vote for the other guy. No compelling message that gives me confidence that one choice will build a better America, only messages that imply the wrong choice will give us a worsened America.

Great.

It brings me back to my first experience in a unionized environment. Sometimes, people forget the common goal in light of their own self-interests. A management employee who is looking for a career win and knows that he will be moving somewhere else in a couple of years does not always look like an advocate to employees. And a union committee that says “no” to any proposal from management is assuring nothing for their people.

Many people appreciate the facts that are brought to their attention via Facebook, Twitter, and their favorite news and blog sites. I am reading as much as I can about the actual positions of the candidates, and their record with being able to enact change. I won’t vote for Romney in order to prevent Obama from raising taxes, and I won’t vote for Obama because the Ryan budget is too threatening.

I will make the best decision I can based on what the candidates are likely to be able to do, as best as I can determine in the time remaining before I make a choice.

Sounds a little like a job interview process, right?

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