The Beav according to Beav

Still crazy after all these years.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

It Is Finished

The campaign is finally over. I doubt that the opposing parties will start to get along now that it's done, but I can hope. My biggest complaint, however, is not the constant bickering. It's the manner in which that bickering is done. We truly need to make two changes to the manner of our speech - particularly political speech - if we want to improve the country.

First, eliminate rhetoric. Few things tossed about this past year annoyed me so much as the rhetorical speech. Romney wasn't planning to "fire Big Bird." He wanted to eliminate Federal funding for PBS. (They get funding from many other sources.) Obama never tried to take credit away from the SEALs for killing Bin Laden. (He authorized the mission and added a detail that became important.) If your point is valid, you shouldn't need to remove the truth to make it.

 Second, stop with the stupid anecdotes. As the old maxim says, "anecdotal evidence isn't." Don't tell me that this one person was on welfare and bought beer and cigarettes with their food stamps. Tell me that the best estimates put welfare abuse at roughly 2-3%. Don't say that a proposed tax plan will cause a specific company to lay off people. Show the math and the projected effects on the private sector as a whole.

Don't get me wrong, I realize that both of these devices are powerful tools in a speech or debate. But when they are the entirety of a platform or position, you've brought the discussion to uselessness. Especially when people repeat that garbage without investigating the truth behind the ridiculous claims.