In Star Trek episodes, cultures are often so homogeneous that entire planets are defined by a couple of odd bumps on their heads and weird clothes. And except for one or two, they all think the same way. It is too easy to paint with such a wide brush, whether you are designing some off-world SF culture or looking at big chunks of the current American electorate.
But I tell you, there are days when I look askance at some of the supporters on both of the two major sides in this 2008 Presidential election... and wonder what they hell they were thinking.
I'm apparently not alone in such thoughts. Author Patrick Rothfuss, whom I first met at ConFusion and was one of the authors brought in to talk to us at the WOTF Workshop this summer, has an interesting blog post on PSA - Why You Shouldn't Vote. Patrick can be quite an amusing guy and he's not one to pull punches. His basic premise it that he'd rather uninformed and idiot voters not decide the issue.
Unfortunately, that's not how our democracy works. No one is likely to agree their are either uninformed or an idiot and volunteer not to vote, and anyways, I'd hate to see the mechanisms a government would put in place to force the issue. So rumors and lame reasonings are going to be a factor on both sides. In Purple America, perhaps it doesn't matter and that part of both sides will just cancel each other out.
I was also struck by some of the comments -- I didn't read them all -- but many were lengthy and many came from non-Americans. Interesting. And I'm delighted that Patrick decided to write what he did and not just sit and fume or hide his thoughts from public scrutiny.
Whatever happened to schools teaching civics? I'm just sayin'.