Yesterday, a Facebook friend of mine chided me. Yes, me. Little-old-me.
There’s a picture going around, one of those “separated at birth” memes, of Romney/Ryan justaposed with Herman and Eddie Munster from the old 1960s TV show. To be fair, the resemblance is only evident in the pairing, but the picture does carry a subtle political commentary: Romney as this big, simple guy who just wants to be liked, and Ryan as his much younger, meaner-spirited sidekick. I found it humorous, and shared it.
My friend chided me, saying we needed to bring our discourse up out of the gutter because the “problems [we] are facing are way way too serious for this kind of stuff.”
What my friend didn’t know—because I don’t change my Facebook status every time I do something—is that I had already spent several hours in Study of Things Political. I’d been out to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, reading their non-partisan and totally unrefuted (by either side) analysis of the Romney and Ryan budget plans. I’d read several articles from a variety of sources. I read one article on the opinions of American Catholics on social issues and their reaction to the selection of Ryan on the Romney ticket. I read analyses of what the Romney/Ryan budgets would do to higher education, medical research, and the arts. I read about and compared the energy policies of the Romney and Obama campaigns. I’d also spent some time reading more about Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism, so I had a better idea of what Ryan was touting, as recently as 2005, and I read up on what the Romney/Ryan campaign is calling a $700bn “raid” on Medicare.
I do not offer you my opinion on what I read; you should go out, read them for yourself, and make your own informed decision. That’s the way our political system is supposed to work.
While I do take my friend’s intention to heart—we do face serious problems—I do not feel compelled to walk around in sackcloth and ashes for the next three months.
Because, now and again, if I can’t laugh a little at our situation, I’ll cry.