The 'Everyone Is Evil' Meme

A couple of notable progressive celebrities (who I won’t mention by name because I’m not interested in going to war) have recently mentioned that they’re sick of the whole “right/left” and “red/blue” divisiveness in America. Mostly, it’s a cheap excuse for them to entertain the idea of a protest vote against the president in November.

While, yes, we should be able to rationally communicate with the other side, I always get worried when liberals start shitting all over “both sides” and take on the “lesser of two evils” meme.

It always happens. When Republicans are in charge, we take the gloves off and fiercely attempt to replace them with a Democrat. But when Democrats are in charge, too many liberals take on this too-hip-for-the-room attitude and either criticize the arrangement of the two party system or insist that both sides are evil.

Neither side is flawless, however, one side is much closer to our values. The other isn’t even close. Shitting on “both sides” only serves to weaken the closer side — the Democratic side.

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  • http://twitter.com/airplane68 Dave Fellner

    7/10 Democrat

  • muselet

    Couldn’t resist.

    –alopecia

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      Love it!

    • jjasonham

      So true. Ha!

    • muselet

      I forgot this before. Sincere apologies to Randall Munroe.

      http://xkcd.com/661/
      “Two Party System”

      –alopecia

  • GrafZeppelin127

    The “both sides” meme, I think, is really an excuse to not know, learn, study and understand the differences between the parties (or “sides”), let alone the underlying issues or topics like law, public policy, macroeconomics, history and current events. There are things people just say, because either they think they’re supposed to say them or they perceive that everyone else is saying them, not because they’ve found it to be true through empirical observation, research and analysis.

    To a lesser extent, it’s an excuse for not voting, or at least for not making an informed voting decision. The supposed futility of voting becomes self-fulfilling.

    Except that participation in a representative democracy can’t be limited to voting (or withholding one’s vote). Too many people see that as their only responsibility and their only means of expressing themselves with respect to the law and to how we are governed. Choosing who is to do the governing is only one small part of it; it’s a means, not an end.

    Preferring one party to the other does not necessitate having any particular affection for that party, nor does it require one to ignore whatever it is about that party or any particular member thereof that one might disagree with or find distasteful. Neither does it require one to harbor and/or express animus, hatred, disproportionate cynicism or vitriol (I’m really growing to hate that word the more distorted and over-used it becomes) at the other party. All it is is a preference. That preference should be grounded in something real, something measurable, observable, demonstrable, but it shouldn’t be characterized as anything other than a preference, whether by the person who holds it or by observers.

    Not having a preference is fine, if there’s a good reason to not have a preference. But it’s not fine if it’s simply the result of intellectual laziness and a semi-narcissistic feeling that one is above the system and knows better than everyone else. It’s that no-one-gets-it-but-me arrogance that bothers me most about the “both sides” meme.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Graf, while I agree that most people use this argument for the reasons you state…I think some of the emoprogs are using it as an excuse to oppose Pres. Obama. That way they can avoid people (like us) questioning their motives–we’ve speculated that it is due to racism, being butthurt over the Clinton primary losses, conservative plants, etc, etc. All that can go away if they use the excuse that they are standing on “principle”. Douchenozzles one and all

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Maybe, but the emoprogs still prefer the Democratic Party to the GOP, even though they get off on feeling betrayed and, as you put it, “butthurt” by whatever the Dems actually do. Bob has it exactly right: When the GOP is in power, emoprogs fight like hell to get a Democrat elected, but then they expect something in return which is not always reasonable to expect, up to and including a personal engraved thank-you monument lovingly carved into a highly-polished block of the finest travertine marble by the new POTUS himself, and when they don’t get it, they become all holier-than-thou on the rest of us and put on those no-one-gets-it-but-me attitude (which they would call “standing on principle”). The only “principle” at work there is their own emotional satisfaction.

        • http://www.facebook.com/tally.briggs Tally Briggs

          “….finest travertine…” haaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

  • Draxiar

    Nose-Face, Forest-Trees…you all know the sayings!

    If Progressives want the change that President Obama continues to speak about then they will have a better chance by supporting the side that will help it happen. When it comes to affecting policy, voters can’t just up and quit if exactly everything they want isn’t achieved. That would be like training for a sport and giving it up if you don’t win the first challenge. It takes time to bring the change we want…and it takes votes.

    Not voting for the folks that will help foster changes we want is essentially voting for the folks that will help foster changes we DON’T want.

    I dare say one of the issues we all get frustrated with is the lack of cooperation from the right. Is the progressive that refuses to vote for President Obama because he/she didn’t “get it all” any better than the right in their childishness?

    • GrafZeppelin127

      No. Progressives will never grow up until they stop believing that the best way to achieve progressive policy is to emotionally blackmail Democrats by electing Republicans.

  • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

    Most of the time, in my experience, the person pushing the “plenty of blame for both sides” line—and almost always the person who introduces the line into a discussion—is on the side that is to blame.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tally.briggs Tally Briggs

    President Obama was the first one to say, “There is no Red America, or Blue America, but THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”

    I suggest the EmoProgs WAKE THE FUCK UP and get behind the man who has been trying to end the divisiveness since day one, instead of whining about him not being GANGSTA enough for them.

    • jjasonham

      He also said on the first day that he WON’T BE ABLE TO DO IT ALONE! We all have to contribute in order for this to work (and not just with contrarian criticism). We need to make sure people pay attention in their civil classes!

      • stacib23

        Unfortunately, I think many thought they had done their part when they cast the vote. Some have flat out broken their arms patting themselves on the back for all of their hard work.

        • jjasonham

          Truth!

  • KAboink

    I get so tired the “both sides do it” nonsense too. The argument I hear seem to always refect the corruption in the electoral system and money in politics but rarely defines the two party’s positions. I usually ask: which party wants to manage every woman’s uterus? Which party courts a model of theocracy based on their (and only their) religion? Which party is anti-science?
    The Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and behaving more like an cult.

  • http://twitter.com/KQuark KQµårk™

    I’m gonna say it. Any liberal or progressive that can’t see the difference between the GOP and Dems with all the GOP debates are being the worse kind of ignorant, willfully ignorant.

  • Chez Pazienza

    You should totally mention them by name, Bob. If you go to war, can I be your enforcer?

  • thomas wallace

    I had to vote against a republican dressed as a Democrat last election.. I figured honesty was better than someone claiming to be something that he was not. Still, it hurt me and maybe all of us, but I would still rather know that it is a wolf for sure than wonder if he was going to guard the sheep or eat them. I kind of went back to the Bible passage that says; “by their fruits, you shall know them”. I still regret it and I still think about it and wonder… I will say that we all have to stand together and choose the greater good over our own selfish interests. But, when a senator votes against his own party and the leader of that party, then he has to go.

    • maggy

      Look closely at the votes. It is usually just one or two. The GOP WORKS us against each other. They know liberals as well as conservatives. NEVER ever vote for a Republican. Ever. For ANY reason.

    • http://twitter.com/KQuark KQµårk™

      You were lucky enough to have that choice. In the great state if GA I gladly vote for Dems even if they are moderates.

      • Miranda

        I dont know how many times I’ve said, give me any of the blue dog Dems, I dont care who – in exchange for Chambliss or Isaakson. I watched and shook my head with what happened in Arkansas in 2010 – I knew they were f’ing up – watched as many idiot “progressives” touted primarying Blanche Lincoln and then when she lost in the general election, had the nerve to think they had “showed her”……stupid mickyficks. IT WAS ARKANSAS. Having a Dem US Senator in a confederate state is a blessing, I dont care if they only vote with the Dem President 40% of the time…that’s 100% more than a GOPer will ever do. Damn those nuts were too arrogant and stupid to see it.

        • drsquid

          Arkansas was different. Polling showed that Lincoln would lose worse than Santorum did before a primary opponent even showed up. (She did.) The primary was to find someone who would at least make it a contest. After all, her primary opponent had held statewide office before.

  • bogenrim

    When you mention “A couple of notable progressive celebrities” I would really like to know who you are referring to, so I can personally tell them how fucked up they are. This is the kind of shit Robert Gibbs was talking about when he made reference to the “professional left”: people that aren’t really interested in doing the heavy lifting of solving difficult problems, but rather those who would rather engage in a perpetual whine-fest of the politics of grievence.

  • Robert Scalzi

    Try living in the SF Bay Area where it seems every emo prog is slamming the president for Drones and the last defense bill, oh and not closing Guantanamo (they don’t seem to understand or want to listen to teh real reason it is still in operation). They have no fucking Idea what the hell they are talking about half th etime and worship at th ealter of Michael Moore, It is extremely frustrating … the Idiots are sometimes as bad as the teabaggers. It’s pretty effing bad, however There is much hope out here, we out number the Emo progs (emo Frogs ??) and many long time Repubs (my mother and several of her friends included) have sworn to Never Ever Vote Repub Again… these are people that supported Nixon, Reagan and the 1st Bush. Junior and his cohorts started My Moms and her friends introspection of their political affiliations, and now that the Teabaggerz have taken over the party There is not One of these women that will step to the dark side again ( the old men are like old dogs, can’t teach em a new trick). I can only hope that for every young Emo Prog out there that there are as many or more Seniors like my mother and her friends.

  • villemar

    But but but Baby Jesus Manning Drones NDAA FEMA Camps Hippie-Punching Indefinite Detention of US Citizens for Infinity. Obama is Elevendy Kajillion times worse that Bush, Hitler, King Leopold, Vlad the Impaler, Caligula, the Cloverfield Monster, and the Evil Universe from Event Horizon combined.

    This monster must be stopped, or I will cry and cut myself. In addition, I will hold my breath until I pass out then hit my head on the coffee table. My resultant forehead welt will be my Martyr’s Mark, that I will wear as a badge of honor as one who stood up against the Evil One. Take that, stupid drooling cultist stormtrooper Obamabots!