Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Enemy of the Good...and Ultrarunning

Ran across this one at the blog Balloon Juice, and realized that this was the sort of low-information, reactionary response that drives me nuts:

The Last Four Years in One Quote

By mistermix September 25th, 2012
In an otherwise innocuous story about the new calorie labeling at MacDonalds, Dick Nigon of Sterling, VA is every Republican:
I did find one customer who had noticed the calorie labels: Dick Nigon of Sterling, Va. He and his wife, Lea, had stopped by McDonald’s after seeing an exhibit at the Renwick Gallery. Dick had ordered for the couple, noticed the calorie labels and liked them.
“I like that you have the information before you order,” he told me, when I asked about the labels. “It’s better than some kind of government health mandate in Obamacare.”

I told him that the calorie labels were, in fact, a government health mandate in Obamacare.

“Well that changes things a bit,” he responded. “I thought this was more of a voluntary sort of thing. Now I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.”

What’s dumber: the notion that MacDonald’s would voluntarily tell customers the calorie count of their greasy-ass food, or the way that the mere mention of “Obama” changes his mind?

It continually mystifies me that people 1) have such negative, knee-jerk reactions to the mere mention of Obama and Obamacare, and 2) they keep taking anti-Obama stances against their own self-interest (e.g., supporting the Other Guy (Romney/Ryan) who want to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits). 

The in-laws are a classic example of this.  I love them dearly, but their minds are filled with the "fair and balanced" so-called "facts" that come from having Fox News on virtually every waking hour.  Having a solid and permanent social safety net in place for their old age should be their number one priority...yet they bash Obama whenever they can (FIL much more so than MIL, so maybe we're seeing some of that white male rage).

Make no mistake, I've been disappointed that President Obama has been less of a progressive than Candidate Obama seemed to be, but I can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  A Republican victory would so bad, on so many levels--so bad.  I gotta remain in Obama's camp.

Of course, I must somehow link this theme to Ultrarunning.  Suppose I was thinking about entering a race, but some friends had told me that some of the rules imposed by the race director were oppressive and dictatorial. In fact, the mere mention of the race director's name elicited disdain from my friends, like "You don't want to run one of his races, do you?"

In fact, I did not know he was the RD, I just liked the race.  On the surface, I initially reacted a bit negatively to some of the so-called onerous rules, delved a bit deeper I could see that they actually benefited me as a runner--they were there for my protection and in the interests of the greater good. 

Maybe an imperfect example, but you get the gist.  THINK, people, don't just react or follow blindly what others tell you.


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