Very interesting thread. Since I'm on October Break from college, I'll chime in with my two cents...I'll wager most of you are about to predict exactly what I'm going to say...
This particular political season is the most hotly contested that I can remember. It's a close race, and each party is fighting hard for each and every undecided vote. However, there is a REASON why voter turnout is so low in most elections, at least among a large group of voters.
What is that reason? Well, let's name some names, yeah I know, it's not appropriate, but someone mentioned (ok, I'll scramble the letters to protect the identities but still give you an idea) RsmtihS and 5B37007. These two are perfect examples of what I call political terrorists. They obsess about the other side, and use scare and slam tactics to discourage people from voting for the other side. They are corrupted and blind to the world around them. All they see is this "epic struggle" between the left wing and right wing. They get to a point where they no longer discuss politics, just sling mud.
And THAT'S what 99.5% of the political discussions on A.net are. Mud slinging. I have RARELY seen anyone say anything of meaningful substance on these boards. And those that have, usually end up leaving, like NormalSpeed for example. There are certain users, many more actually than the aforementioned political terrorists who hijack non-political threads and turn them into mud slinging fests. Certain users' actions in threads about the deaths of former presidents, or actors, or Pat Tillman are low and dispicible. Yes, all three are intertwined in politics in one way or another, but what those users did, was sling mud...nothing more. They gloated over the deaths, and attempted to use them to their advantage. BOTH sides are guilty of this...no doubt about it. It takes two to tango. Even threads as simple as "post your pic" have the potential to take a venimous turn towards a political flamefest.
No one is asking for an end to political debate on A.net (though we might as well, since little or no users know the difference between a friendly debate and a flamefest). We want an end to the BS
threads on politics that only serve to inflame, and an end to the flaming. Remember in the end, America gets hurt by all of this as the truth becomes harder and harder to find. The voter gets screwed.
Fact is, with the behaviors of Bush and Kerry lately, and with the lies and half-truths being spit out, George Washington was right to be against political parties. Abraham Lincoln stated that a house divided against itself cannot stand. If the terrorists do win, it will be because of our now bitterly divided politics, and the key players who made it so. The two most dangerous terrorist groups threatening the United States of America don't go by the names of Al Qaida or Hezbollah, they go by Democratic Party and Republican Party.
B4e-Forever New Frontiers
[Edited 2004-10-11 17:12:13]