Friday, November 5, 2010

I hate politics

Thank god midterm elections are over.

I don't really have much to say except that I am SO SICK of hearing about party strategy, campaign tactics, painfully embarrassing Christine O'Donnell videos, Washington rallies, tea parties, media speculation, ridiculous rhetoric about bipartisanship and mandates that magically materialize when vote shares jump from 49.999% to 50, good politicians being martyred for virtuous actions, bad politicians being elevated for hogging the microphone, character attacks, moralizing about pragmatic issues, fingerpointing, and the fact that everyone around me is continually ranting about how idiotic party/person X is. And especially the fact that about 30% of the time I don't agree (at least with the logic, if not the conclusion) and it's really bad for my blood pressure...

The only race that really held my interest was Prop 19. No, not because I'm a pothead... just because the pyrrhic war on a basically harmless drug exemplifies every characteristic of bad government. In early October intrade.com was showing a very high probability of it passing, which got me all excited, so the 54-46 defeat was pretty disappointing (the intrade market dropped precipitously before the election, but I didn't see that ahead of time...)

I don't want to elaborately restate all the arguments in favor of legalization (decreased law enforcement costs, getting nonviolent 'criminals' out of the overcrowded prisons, increased tax revenues, a safer regulated market, a much smaller black market potentially leading to less drug abuse by underage consumers, less violence and fewer accidents as men substitute weed for alcohol, etc etc etc...) The most important thing is that in a free society, the burden of proof is on those who want to decrease freedom, and that burden has not nearly been met. I also think that victimless crimes are not crimes and that "nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced" but I suspect that unanimity on those truisms is much farther off than on the principles of a free society, so I'll pick my battles.

Sigh. I guess the ultimate reason I hate politics, which applies even when elections are far off and we're debating the real issues, is that it's so dang disheartening.

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