Against The Shrill

Because it's the season of giving, I'm going to lay out in this post, for free, a foolproof strategy for the Democrats or the Republicans to dominate US politics in the coming years. Did I mention that it's free? Without cost? 100% devoid of price? All one would have to do to take advantage of it is read. I realize that probably puts one party slightly ahead of the other, but I'm not going to publish a comic book version. Call me a partisan douchebag. Again. It's super complicated, so proceed with extreme caution.

Ready? Here goes. Stop being so shrill. That's it. Stop being so shrill. I have been paying close attention to all the people I meet and read about and see on the teevee, and very few of them, at least among the normal non-celebrity folks, are at all shrill. Granted, some of the people who listen to talk radio or watch certain TV shows or subscribe to some email lists and/or have selected personality disorders are getting kinda shrill, but I believe that most of us don't have the time or energy to invest in it. We're too busy taking care of business and raising our families and thinking about what we're going to do next weekend. And if we could just get some folks in charge who were honest and halfway competent and not corrupt and didn't try to scare the shit out of us at every turn, we'd be pretty psyched.

Sometimes it's helpful to look at what not to do. Here are things that you should avoid saying, if you don't want to be shrill:

Don't you realize we're at war? If you criticize our government, you're aiding and abetting the terrorists! You America-hating hippie leftist lover!

The President is a compulsive liar! We should impeach him! And you like him, so YOU must be a liar TOO!

Evil Secular Humanists are waging war on [name of religious holiday]! If government and businesses stop advertizing [name of religious holiday], it will cease to exist! Because only government and business support can keep religious holidays alive! And the terrorists will win!

The war in Iraq was built on a lie! Nothing good can come from a lie, because it's a lie! Lie! Lie! Eek!

The founders of our country weren't [agnostic, gay, non-white, women, Jewish, short, ambidextrous, etc.], so the Constitution can't possibly be interpreted to benefit any of those people. Everything has to stay the exact same way it's always been, or I'll hold my breath until I pass out!

No, it was not a mistake. We've never made a mistake. We've never been wrong about anything. Ever. By saying that we've been wrong or made a mistake, you are only revealing your own pathetic addiction to the politics of blame and fear. You bastards.

Well, of course my opponent would say that. My opponent, after all, is [a draft dodger, an alcoholic, a compulsive liar, soft on (crime, terrorism), out of the mainstream].

It's not right to say X. We should have a Federal law making it illegal to say X. The information contained in X is just too dangerous for us to hear. If we hear it, we'll most likely spontaneously combust.

Oh, you support [abortion, gun ownership, the death penalty, the war in Iraq, eating meat, etc.]? Well, then YOU'RE a MURDERER! You know who you remind me of? Hitler!

Get the idea? Instead of saying any of that, try "Here's a problem we've identified. Experience and science and common sense indicate that the following course of action has a good chance of improving the situation. The cost is reasonable relative to the magnitude of the problem and the size of the potential benefit, so we're going to give it a try. If it doesn't work, we'll report that to everyone, and we'll either make changes or try something else that might work better." I know. Totally revolutionary.

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