Saturday, May 29, 2010

Protesting Laws

Protests are all good and fine with me. Usually.
Politicians, while not the most esteemed people in my eyes, are the same.
But at times, I get to the point where I just want to nuke the offending person, usually when they're in the midst of shooting something down.

Recent examples include Obamacare, Cap And Trade, and the Arizona racial profiling law (I'm going to receive a fair amount of flak from a certain ginger for mentioning this...), to pull from both parts of the Left-Right spectrum. Well, that is, examples which annoyed me.

Politicians attacking bills which do something they don't like is fine. Protesting obviously unfair laws is also fine. For example, repealing the DADT bill. This prevents completely idiotic things from passing, or if they are somehow passed, from remaining in effect.

What gets me is when bills are presented to solve a huge problem that exists (as opposed to say, providing for something that isn't a problem at all), and they are attacked, and (yes, run-on sentence, I know....I hear the pained screams of a hundred grammar nazis...) the attackers do not have a better alternative, or an alternative at all, for that matter! It is better to solve a problem badly than to leave it unsolved. Better to get a 58 on a test than skip it and get a 0, no?

When you attack something just to deny another political capital, or because it wouldn't sit well with your voters, you better have a damn better solution than the one being presented. Filibustering something which is an attempt to solve a problem will only increase the pain to those suffering, and is especially pointless if the bill will inevitably be passed. Being the House of No just puts you out there as total pricks fishing for votes. (Rant to be posted later on career politicians...) I'm pretty damn sure that your voters wouldn't stay if they would unplug their ears and uncover their eyes to see that you're hurting them by delaying a solution you have no alternative to. So if you're going to protest something that solves a problem (or attempts to) such as the economy, the environment, or illegal immigration, come prepared with your own plan to counter with. Don't make some page read a bill whose pages number in the thousands just to delay it. Pull your crap together and make your own solution.

Just to delve further into this, when you run out of arguments against a bill you don't have a counter to (or even one you do), stop arguing, and formulate more arguments. Or accept that the bill is a solution, and pass it. Don't worry, you won't lose votes once your voters realize that the bill will help them. What you don't do is attack the people presenting the bill. No, Obama is not a socialist Nazi. And even if he was, that does not mean everything he does is aimed towards killing the Jewish communities, or promoting socialism. Obama wrote out a March Madness bracket....does that mean we should all stop watching college basketball during March? No. Does it make said basketball Nazi, or socialist? Hell no.

On the same page, a few days ago I saw a protest at the UW against Arizona's newly passed law. What did the signs they were holding mostly consist of? Insults. Personal attacks. Wow. Real mature guys. (And this is coming from a teen who can't suppress a smirk when certain words are mentioned...) Among the signs? "Boycott Nazi-zona!" and a cactus shaped like a middle finger, are the only two I clearly remember. And their chants were none too nice, either. (Except for "Si se pueda", which really, doesn't fit, when you think about it. Also, forgive me if I mangled the Spanish.)

So, just in case this was a tl;dr for some of you, my message is...
If you're going to attack a solution to a freaking huge problem, you better have an alternative, damn it. And if you run out of arguments, personal attacks are a sign of your inability to compose an argument valid by even the lowest standards. So please, shut your mouth until you bring back something of substance.

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