John Gruber is a smart guy. He consistently provides some of the best Mac, iPhone, web and general geekery analysis. Whenever he publishes an article, I read it, and 9 links he publishes out of 10, I read, too.
He is an opinionated guy, and that is a good thing™, so he has also made his opinions known on the upcoming election on Twitter. I am a libertarian who tends toward the Republican party, so of course I rarely agree with his political tweets, but that’s the nature of politics. Disagreement is another good thing.
What has disgusted me since I began following politics and current events, though, is partisanship. Partisanship in this sense is not supporting one party over another, but rooting for one party like it is a sports team, where you condemn whatever your “opponents” do and try to pin anything bad that happens on them.
There is no discussion in this kind of politics, no learning — and ultimately no progression. We sit stagnant, doing our best to help “our” party take control, but only ruining our country.
That is not politics, and it is much too rampant on both sides. Which is why I was dismayed to see one of Gruber’s tweets today:
To Republicans who tell me they’re tired of me writing about politics. I say let’s call it even, I’m tired of you fucking up the country.
Let’s be clear: there is nothing wrong with talking politics on your weblog or on Twitter. They both exist to explain your views and do whatever else you decide.
Gruber here is basically saying: fuck you, I don’t value what you have to say, because you’re a Republican, and all Republicans can do is fuck up the country.
That’s the attitude which denies discussion and poisons politics as a result. Because someone is a Republican or Democrat, they are automatically unworthy of discussion. It brushes over complex issues, like the Iraq war, or the current economic crisis, which defy easy answers and emotional slogans. Neither are as simple as “war for oil,” or “it’s all Bush’s fault” — but when we make it our attitude that anyone from the other party is wrong, is “fucking up the country” and thus not worth listening to, we are fucking up the country.
Gruber is a smart guy, and from what I can tell, a good man who usually keeps a cool head. We all get wrapped up in politics sometimes, all of us, but I only hope that we can unwrap ourselves enough to really discuss what’s going on sometime, other than yelling “you’re fucking up the country.” If we can do that, we’d all be better off — liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, apathetic.