Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rigorous Introspection (or "I'm Just Like Them...sort of."

During George W. Bush's presidency, I and others of the same political persuasion would be having a conversation about some political event or administration position. Sooner or later someone would pose some variation of the following question:

"How can someone who has

a) lost a job while CEOs plundered 
b) found himself with no health insurance and ended up paying through the nose for private or "risk pool" insurance
c) living on a fixed income with high cost of whatever
d) been forced to work 2 or 3 part-time jobs with no benefits thanks to
the corporate trend of eliminating full-time jobs.
e) some combination of the above

possibly vote for Bush?"

We asked a variant of the question during the last election: "How can someone whose life has been decimated by Republican policy even consider voting for McCain?"

Now I think I know the answer, and it isn't pretty.

During the year or so leading up to the election, I was a passionate constant consumer of political writing.  I paid attention and spent countless hours informing myself.

But ever since the inauguration my consumption of such media has dropped by about 75%. 

At first I thought I had political burnout or a simply too much on my plate, but now I'm investigating an unflattering possibility:

Could I be a blind follower, too?

I have little interest in following issues these days. I no  longer read Huffington Post, Daily Kos, or Wonkette three times a day.  I no longer watch CNN during my time in the kitchen. I no longer read the newspaper regularly.

I am, under this hypothesis, exactly like the individuals on the right I used to castigate.

So I want to ask for your help. 

Will you let me know, in the comments if you (as a conservative) are now consuming more political media or if you (as a liberal) are consuming less?

Please throw your virtual two cents' worth into the fray.


Anonymous said...

Remember our Latin: "Conservare"-to preserve or conserve (the best) of whatever it is you're conserving? I am that kind of conservative, but the trick is to determine what that means in the world we live in. ...I mostly read biz and financial news and am glad that there are people like you who stay current with politics. Seems natural, though, that your interest would wax during election seasona and wane when it's over. ...I enjoy your blog.

Sarah said...

An interesting post... one that made me think about my own habits.I too, when the American election campaign was on, read avidly about each day's events. Now? I read the headlines about what goes on, but I am sure lots goes under my political radar.My brother reads the Economist and maybe I should buy it so I can stay up to date. At least we are considering this and not just reading about Britney Spears! S

Anonymous said...

Interesting question. I do think that the fury of a political fight is riveting. The spectacle is exhilarating. Particularly in the fourth quarter. And now? The game's over. I'd rather not go into the locker room where it stinks. We all have work to do.

Kelly Hudgins said...

Brent, I know your kind of conservatism challeneges the stereoptypes.

Sarah, my husband is an Economist fan. Perhaps I should pick it up once in a while, too.

Karen, a perfect metaphor, as always!

Farley said...

Kelly, out here on the left wing where it is running out of feathers, I am consuming less, but that's a good thing. I got quite obsessive about it during the election. I'm still engaged with what's going on and consuming quite a bit of news and opinion writing, but I'm not checking as many sites or checking what I do with the same frequency.