This week it seems that the mindlessness if flowing like water. On all sides of the political spectrum, critical thinking has given way to strange, herd-thinking and cheer-leading for "our team".
Take the US election for instance.
To a person, those on the "left" like and support Barack Obama as a fellow lefty and 'liberal'. Yet, his policy and record show that he is, from a Canadian political perspective, the equivalent to a Diefenbaker-Stansfield-Clark Progressive Conservative, not a Liberal. Ironically it should be the Conservatives who support Obama, yet they, almost to a person, stampede to the McCain camp and the Republicans who really are even further right than even the Reform party was. The same people who scream 'Adscam!" when the Liberals are in the room and "Free Speech!" when Human Rights Commissions are mentioned happily support a person - Sarah Palin - who is alleged to have abused her power as Governor to have her brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers during a messy divorce from her sister and who tried during her term in office as mayor to have books banned from the public library.
And why? Because of the perception that these people are "on your side" or "on your team" - the American right must be naturally allied with the Canadian right, right? American 'liberals' are exactly like the Liberals, no?
This knee jerk, collectivist tribalism allows all kinds of cognitive disonance to take place. Liberals who support same sex-marriage have no issue with Obama, who does not support it. Conservatives who support "family values" and "abstinence only sex education" seem to have no problem singing the praises of Palin, whose 17-year-old daughter is pregnant and is having a shotgun wedding to the 18-year-old father. Or of McCain calling his wife a "cunt". Imagine the reaction if it had been "the other side" with these things happening.
(To be fair, Lore Weaver seems to be the only intellectually honest blogger on this - he is an Obama supporter and a Conservative).
And then there is our own (unofficial) election campaign.
The supposedly "fiscal conservative" Stephen Harper and the CPC promising billions in corporate welfare to Ford, even after running a deficit for a short time this spring and after cutting arts funding less than a week ago under the guise of being "fiscally responsible".
Or of Stephane Dion claiming his failed summer "Green Shift" tour was "consultation" that resulting in major changes to the program, after the multiple polls that showed how unpopular it was.
I could go on but you get the picture.
So, tell me again why its better to have a state, run by uncritical, unthinking, unprincipled, intellectually dishonest dolts who seem to want to equate "left" and "right" to their favourite hcokey team?
So to sum up for those who have trouble understanding:
Republicans == far right of the Reform Party
Sarah Palin == authoritarian who would be ridiculed even by Conservatives if she were Canadian.
Stephen Harper == mean-spirited political whore in a blue tie
Stephane Dion == mousy political whore in a red tie.
In the end, when the smoke clears, we'll still get taxed too much, we'll still get crappy service from the government, we'll still be fighting religious fundementalism, the US will still be in Iraq and (October Surprise!) maybe Iran, and we will still be bribed with our own money by people who want power for their own good, not ours.
It really doesn't matter who "wins".