November 7, 2012

Can you open your mind? (with Update)

I read at another blog an open message to those on the losing side, an attempt to come together, that ended as such:
So what I am asking of my Republican and conservative friends, family, and readers is this:  IF, in four years, America is not a socialist hellhole, if in four years there have been no moves to limit freedom of religion or Second Amendment rights, if in four years the divorce rate is the same or lower, if in four years Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and Israel is in the same or a better security situation than today and has not been abandoned by this administration...

will you open your mind to the possibility that the above mentioned entities, the Fox Channels, the Allan Wests, the Barry Rubins and Dinesh D'souzas, have all been misleading you?  Will you open your mind to the possibility that these people are simply incorrect, when their predictions don't come true?
Having an open mind is not a one way street. Being misled is not exclusive to one side.

However well intentioned, the premise that only one side must open its mind to the possibility of being misled, or that its leaders may be incorrect, is a shaky one. An open-minded person, as I see it, would also acknowledge that the dire predictions of Democrats about Romney, often seen at such partisan blogs, would likely not have come true either.

If Romney had won, would those who imply only others are incorrect or misled be open enough to give the same they ask for? Those inside echo chambers may believe they are tolerant and open-minded, but they too often seem hardly different in behavior than the opponents they criticize. They are so attuned to the echoes that, I suggest, they are the more easily manipulated and misled as a result. 
A recent Pew poll found that MSNBC was more biased than Fox. It featured 71 percent negative coverage of Mitt Romney whereas Fox coverage of Obama was only 46 percent unfavorable. Positive Romney stories on MSNBC reached all the way to a soaring three percent!

Indeed, Chris Matthews, in an egregious example,  last night said, "I’m so glad we had that storm last week."

There are tons of examples to show it's not just a one-sided affair when it come to dire predictions, fear-mongering and demonization.

In the next four years, it is impossible to know what will happen. Unlike many of those who ask others to be open-minded, Obama does not come off to all as possessing the prowess he wants us to believe. So have these followers been misled? The lead-up and aftermath of Benghazi is nothing to brag about, and may involve instances of negligence and pre-election deception, such as illustrated here and here. Adopting an international approach that seems as interested in protecting defamation of religion as freedom of expression does not necessarily serve our fundamental interests or values, and it is not a close-minded or a dire prediction to believe this will make things more dangerous over time, here and abroad.

As to the election overall, assuming the Democratic candidate is not black in 2016, will he/she start with 95% of the black vote as a built in advantage, not to mention the high turnout? How much of a difference did this one aspect make in 2008 and 2012? In real terms. Ironically, things have become worse for blacks (see here, here, and here), who are subjected to a trickle down economic approach by the Administration. There are many issues and anomalies concerning the election, and I have a suspicion that all will be covered, more than is necessary, and new diversions will arise.

To me, no one should be proud of what just ended, a spectacle awash with money and deception that illustrates the crumbling of democracy and polarization of the polity. Bottom line, however, is that the status quo remains in effect. We are set for another round of seeing if Obama can govern as well as he runs for office. So far he seems much better at the latter, and I don't think I am misled any more than those that tout him in an overly altruistic manner.

UPDATE: Of course, Chris Matthews rightly apologized for saying he was glad for Sandy. The road is littered with apologies by Mr. Matthews, but what else could he do? The point remains that his first utterance was not unique, and tended to show that he and MSNBC have at least as much bias as Fox. Some are just unable to discern this obvious fact.

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