Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The razor's edge

So it's election day and I am massively stressed out. Which is weird because I'm also somewhat convinced Obama is going to win. I don't know how I'd feel if I thought he was going to lose. Despondent maybe? Massively depressed?

Anyway, all comments on facebook or twitter are candidates to send me over the edge. It's not a nice place to exist. I already have some "de-friend" targets on facebook who probably won't make it through the day. Don't worry. If you're reading this blog right now, I don't think you're one of them.

Let me give an example of how emotionally unstable I am right now. (Warning: Massive Humblebrag Alert)

Sometimes at work, I interact with people who assume I will be running for office one day. Instead of telling them I can't run for office because I am a massive life fuckup (i.e. the truth), I tell them I can't run for office because I've never influenced anyone about anything, ever. To be truthful, I've never had a conversation with a person where they said to themselves at the end, "Wow - This person just made a very well-reasoned argument and I really need to re-evaluate my position on 'X'". It's never happened.

It's never happened mostly because I'm a massive asshole, but also because human beings (including myself) envelop themselves in a core set of beliefs that dictate their world attitudes. These attitudes are rarely, if ever, successfully challenged because they are governed by a lifetime of core experiences and influences. In fact, it would be silly if these attitudes were affected by, for example, my facebook rants.

However, as I mentioned previously, I have, on occasion, spoken with somewhat influential politicos who assume I'll be running for office one day. I must admit, I do reek of that ambition, despite the fact that my personal failings would warrant an entire chapter in the Encyclopedia of Mental Health. So instead of telling them the truth ("I suck"), I tell them that I can't run because I am the most unpersuasive human being on the planet. Any argument I've ever had is much more likely to harden the attitudes of the people on the other side, rather than move them towards my position. Let's put it this way, if debate teams had an "anti-matter", it would be me. If you want to win an argument, just put me on the other end of it.

Anyway, as I continue to explain to this person how unpersuasive I am, I usually try to lighten the mood by adding that I literally know only ONE person who seeks out my opinions on political matters. One person who I think I can influence.  One person IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD who respects my opinion and appreciates the thousands and thousands of hours I spend reading and writing about politics. One person who thinks I just might have something valuable to add to our political discourse.

And then that person sent me a text message this morning saying that he voted for Mitt Romney and I just started crying...


  1. I have a couple people who say they don't try to argue with me on x, y and z issues because I'm too smart. This unfortunately doesn't mean they've come around to my position on x, y and z. I think it means they just don't favor their chances of convincing me otherwise.

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    2. You know, I think you're right Anonymous (Greg?)

  2. I see what you're doing here. You're arguing how unpersuasive you are which you will lose because you're unpersuasive. So by virtue of losing your own argument you will now be viewed as persuasive. Nicely done

  3. I found myself really enjoying this blog post until I realized it was about me. In disparaging yourself, you have (albeit not maliciously) disparaged me just a little bit more. Luckily, I was never influenced by you in the first place. (This may or may not be true but I am saying it to flip the script on you.)