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Don't Be That Guy
A year ago, it was silly to be concerned about the elections in 2008. With the primaries finally underway and the election actually within three seasons' reach, it's time to get engaged again. That means shaking off the cobwebs instilled by the ubiquitous brainwashing of the mainstream media (the cloaca of ideas) and actually figuring out what you need to know for the elections, which include: <ul> Figuring out what your problems are Figuring out where your interests lie Thinking long term, even if it means slightly tougher times in the short term Actually listening to what the candidates are saying, rather than what they tell you they said in soundbites or, even worse, what the media tells you they stand for in their helpful, but woefully uninformed and criminally misleading, summaries. </ul> A handy guide to doing so is to see whether any of the following conditions apply to you. <bq source="The Beast" href="http://www.buffalobeast.com/122/50mostloathsome2007.html" caption="50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2007">You believe in freedom of speech, until someone says something that offends you. You suddenly give a damn about border integrity, because the automated voice system at your pharmacy asked you to press 9 for Spanish. You cling to every scrap of bullshit you can find to support your ludicrous belief system, and reject all empirical evidence to the contrary. You know the difference between patriotism and nationalism -- it's nationalism when foreigners do it. You hate anyone who seems smarter than you. You care more about zygotes than actual people. You love to blame people for their misfortunes, even if it means screwing yourself over. You still think Republicans favor limited government. Your knowledge of politics and government are dwarfed by your concern for Britney Spears' children. You think buying Chinese goods stimulates our economy. You think you're going to get universal health care. You tolerate the phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques." You think the government is actually trying to improve education. You think watching CNN makes you smarter. You think two parties is enough. You can't spell. You think $9 trillion in debt is manageable. You believe in an afterlife for the sole reason that you don't want to die. You think lowering taxes raises revenue. You think the economy's doing well. You're an idiot.</bq> Avoiding all of the above character traits is a great plan for being a good voter in 2008. Practice, practice, practice.