The Horse Race
Curunir over at The Distributed Republic has a point, related to many politicos obsession prior to the election with 538.com, that resonates with me:
Am I the only one who finds the popularity of horse-race style election coverage negative and bad for society, certainly not something to be subsidized?
To be sure, I don’t care if some people find political races thrilling, in the same way I find the ACC standings interesting. But I wish people wouldn’t confuse caring about issues with caring about elections.
Politics is a sport. There is a certain level of fandom associated with it, and I’m not going to disparage those who follow it for its sporting aspects (I think a few co-contributors here [coughDougcough] fit that profile) as if it’s somehow more irrelevant than my following of Purdue football or MotoGP. But when it comes to tracking polls and day-to-day changes in public opinion, I’m not going to elevate it above the sports I follow either.
Often, people I know are surprised when I tell them how much I hate politics. After all, I run The Liberty Papers. I follow politics. I can speak at greater length on many political issues than most people who follow politics, and to the “eyes-glaze-over” level for non-politicos. But I hate politics. If these assholes in Washington didn’t have the (improper) legal authority to tell me what to do and lock me in a cage if I don’t comply, I’d pay about as much attention to them as I do to soccer.
I blog mainly because I’m not about horse racing (except, of course, when I go to the actual horse track), but because I’m about ideas. There are principles here, and the politics involved (to the extent they move beyond Team A vs Team B) are an outgrowth of those principles. I want to change peoples minds and let them realize how that might change their votes.
Elections matter — you know, the whole lock me in a cage thing. But at the start and end of the day, I’m far more interested in drawing people towards individualism and freedom. I know that my co-contributors — even those who enjoy the sporting aspects — are here to do the same. The motto over at Reason is “Free Minds and Free Markets”. I think if you take care of the former, you’ll get the latter. I’m here to free minds. The occupants of the White House or Congress are not critical to that task.