This is probably not a new opinion, but it’s something I completely agree with. It’s also a good answer to my previous post about the election. I’d say it’s basic principle is that one shouldn’t do something for the sake of doing it, especially if it causes them to forsake reason in the process. Of course, reason isn’t everything, but I think its probably one of the most valuable traits/ values/ virtues one can have (that of being rational).
This principle is pretty applicable to a lot of things nowadays – we can see its violation in many cases, one of which being people searching for economic indicators so they can publish their article/ paper saying that the economy is failing/ still strong – I certainly hope that this isn’t happening too often (though it may very well happen often, considering how often journalists/ bloggers are expected to write something of interest). Or people saying, “hey, let’s be fair in the elections because we’ve been criticising McCain too much”, and ending up doing something irrational like judging Obama more harshly than McCain.
Then again, with regards to politics, I think my view does tend to be more balanced (in the first order sense described in the first link) than most people I talk to (who usually are Obama supporters). I don’t think this is because I’m “trying” to be balanced here and therefore putting me at risk of being irrational. I have three main reasons for my opinion:
1. I don’t like how most Singaporeans learn about the elections almost exclusively through the media (not that I don’t). It’s not a problem with specific broadcasters or newspapers per se, but rather a problem with journalism, reading and interpretation in general. As such, probably very little can convince me to support a candidate completely. This is somewhat linked to the next reason.
2. The elections have for many people turned into a “I like this guy cause he said this, I don’t like this guy cause he screwed this up” thing – people read one or two articles, watch one or two debates and conclude who they like better based on extremely little information. And what’s worse, they continue praising their own pick and picking on the other candidate at every opportunity they can find. Maybe this is because it really is the case that one candidate is terrible and the other isn’t – but I don’t think that’s the case this year round. I’d want to rant about this for very long but I might do that in another post. The fact that people are making such irrational judgements about the candidates puts me off taking an absolute stance on any candidate.
3. Yes Minister. Anyone could extrapolate all he wants on what each candidate would do as president, how much tax reductions you’d get under each candidate etcetera, but as history and comedy have satirised, if not shown, everything changes when you get into the job. This is why I’m uncertain whether any of the two candidates will do exactly as he proposes – even the candidate which looks the most convincing may go totally off course when he gets elected.