So i've been paying half an ear to the political debates and such these days, mostly because I've already made up my mind but I always prefer to know why the other side does what they do. That is, I like to know both sides of an argument even if I'm already pretty sure I know which side I come down on.
In the spirit of such, I have been wondering and perhaps somebody here has more than a shallow insight into why politics have become so personal here.
I don't mean "why the personal attacks" although that is part of it. What is really bugging me is that people make this race into such a battle of personal likes. Even here there are thread titles like "I hate Palin" and the like.
What happened to "I don't agree with what you have to say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it?" What happened to ideals and platforms in politics? This vitriol, this hatred for the "other side" seems absolutely contrary to the ideas behind our political structure, wherein opposing ideas can be compared, judged by their merits and decided upon by the majority. Where is the I support X because they represent my ideas and ideals. Instead we seem mired in I support X because I hate Y and Y is evil and Y is ugly and I don't like Y's friends, etcetera etcetera.
I realize that much of this is sourced in our two party system, but more and more it seems we have abandoned the ideas that we are arguing for in favor of simply hatting the "other side." They are not the enemy, they are us!
Or am I simply romanticizing a unity that never really existed and an idea made impossible by human nature?