I once stopped playing in a basketball game because a guy on my team was huffing and puffing at someone on the other team. It's completely inappropriate. Rush Limbaugh is the political epitome of trash talk, so I don't listen to him much. Just as trash talkers desecrate the games of sports, so do political trash talkers desecrate politics, which is NOT a game. For me it's all about being fair. Political trash talking is not fair, and neither is the political secrecy that often accompanies it.
I teach my kids that they can tease each other from time to time as long as (a) it is meant in fun, and (b) it does not annoy the other person. After that it's trash talk.
Greg Allen and I had an excellent conversation this morning on The Right Balance about the importance of decorum in politics. I've learned a great deal from Greg over the past several months about this subject, which has informed my political ambitions.
Greg Allen is a consummate man of fair play, and a wide variety of people respect him for it. I need to get better at being fair. This morning I told Greg of an apology I made here on SUMP for incorrectly throwing all liberals into one bucket. I pointed out to him--like he needs me to tell him--that there are a great number of Democrats (traditionally I'm a Republican) that are upstanding, and that there are a great number of Republicans who aren't. No party has a
Politics is not a game. Members of the opposition party are not the enemy.monopoly on goodness. Nearly every person has a story to tell or a point to make, and nearly every story or point is worth listening to.
I have been recently disappointed by my political party, in such areas as blind support for the Gods of war and empire, threatening fellow Republican legislators that if they didn't vote for education vouchers they would have less favors come their way, and being no longer able to see that a bribe is a bribe.
But then again, there are a lot of areas in which I don't agree with Democrats, particularly in the area of social welfare. I think private individuals need to take care of their fellow man, rather than government.
Are there too many Republicans in the Utah legislature? If the answer is based on how well they listen to the people and how well they coalesce with legislative Democrats on critical issues, then...Yes, there are too many Republicans. But that could be fixed by more Republicans being responsible to their constituents and less enamored by their office.
What is a good Republican? In many ways it's the same thing as a good Democrat. Here's the recipe:
This recipe doesn't make for good theater by any means (and might mean far fewer mentions on the evening news), but it makes for much healthier government and a healthy society.
Sticking to the principles, rather than bowing beneath the shifting winds of pragmatism. Disagreeing with members of our party when it is appropriate, not just disagreeing with members of the opposition party, and in all cases amicably. Being open to persuasion, because we know that our points of view are not infallible. Realizing that members of the opposition party are not the enemy. Attempting never to trash talk. Ultimately apologizing when we do.