There is something seriously sinister going on in our politics today. I have really been sad to see how many anti-other country attacks have been on the airwaves recently, and how many negative attacks in general dominate politics. This is the first major election I've been at home for in a while, and the 2010 mid-terms are aggressive, negative, and a sad reflection of "democracy in action."
One especially troubling trend is the attacks on China and other foreign countries. Usually in the name of economics, and usually appealing to people's sense of outrage in terms of shipping jobs overseas. I didn't realize how widespread this was until I read this article in the New York Times. In it, the author says:
"In the past week or so, at least 29 candidates have unveiled advertisements suggesting that their opponents have been too sympathetic to China and, as a result, Americans have suffered."
I think it's true - our economic system has gotten so imbalanced that it makes MORE sense for companies to ship their production overseas. But let's make no mistake - these are policy and incentive issues. We don't value employment in this country (contrary to all of the pointless talking that goes on) and our policies are mostly anti-employment. Both sides are guilty - globalization liberals and big-business conservatives. The truth is, everyone is out to make money for themselves, and the rich just have more pull and influence than the poor. They protect their interests, and their interest is to have regulations and policies that reward them for figuring out how to best game the situation. That's our meritocracy.
What's really scary about this though, is the subtle undercurrent of anti-foreign sentiment (which we really don't need any more of in this country) and the not-so-subtle fear-mongering that's going on. Feeding on people's ignorance (and generating fear from it) is good politics, but it is not good ethics, nor is it good long-term for this country.
We've many challenges in our society today, but instead of standing up and facing them down, we seem to be doing more and more of the same. That's not going to get it done, and I don't see how anyone can think that, continuing down this forsaken path, we're going to figure out how to make things better.
I'm getting more and more cynical.