Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Partisan Politics: Is He A Scumsucker Or A Twitwaffle?

I've been a full-fledged adult for the entirety of this millennium plus a few years to spare, old enough to notice and be disgusted by certain recurring patterns. Specifically, I'm sick of seeing the exact same partisan sports-bar realignments happen every time the White House switches from D to R or back again.

When Bush was president and started grabbing gobs of executive power after 9/11, the right wing made excuses while the left wing righteously decried his assault on the constitution. 

Then Obama got elected and the right wing needed approximately three nanoseconds to rediscover its "pro-liberty, small government" principles. Unfortunately, the right's renewed commitment to individual freedom and protection from out-of-control government power was offset by the left-wing civil liberty fans who suddenly decided constitutional violations were no big deal, so long as St. Obama the Trustworthy was behind them.

Then Trump got elected and the left-wingers immediately re-embraced their Bush-era love of constitutional freedoms, at the same time the right wing re-embraces its Bush-era belief that we really ought to trust the president and government to keep our best interests at heart. Because Zod forbid such ideas as "Be loyal to principles, not personalities or political parties" and "Don't grant power to a politico you like unless you're willing to see that same power wielded by a politico you don't" ever gain mainstream acceptance in 21st-century America.

It reminds me of sports-team fandom -- I say this as someone who's never had the slightest interest in watching team sports, and plain doesn't "get" the appeal of sports-team loyalty (unless you or a loved one are an actual playing member of that team) -- the loyalty is solely to the team name, and has nothing to do with the person who wears it or that person's behavior. To the point where a hardcore fan of the Washington Scumsuckers footbase team thinks Joe Blow is, like, the greatest guy in history while he's the Scumsuckers' lead home run quarterback, especially admired for his selfless charity work with sick children -- then Joe gets traded to the New Jersey Twitwaffles and suddenly he's the worst man since Hitler (and his charity work an obvious ploy to make dumbasses think he's a nice guy). The only thing that matters is the team name: is he a Scumsucker, or a Twitwaffle? 

But at least sports-team brand-name loyalty doesn't have actual real-world consequences. Political team brand-name loyalty does.

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