False Dichotomies

So, I’m becoming both increasingly horrified, and increasingly fascinated by false dichotomies.  A large part of it is the coming election.  Any time there’s an election it seems like the first thing on the agenda is deciding what we’re debating and the two sides that we have to choose between.

One of my favorites is gun control.  Dear god, what a vague term.  Gun control.  It’s like ‘car safety.’  You’ve got people standing on one side saying, ‘No, we won’t you put control chips in our cars that limit them to five miles an hour,’ and people on the other side saying ‘Seatbelts should be required in all vehicles!’

I’ve gotten in debates before with people only to find out a few minutes in that we pretty much agreed on what should be done, but I was putting the emphasis on what steps should not be taken, and they were putting the emphasis on what steps should be taken.

The absurd thing, though, is that when the election comes we won’t be choosing between a range of ideas, there will be two concepts set in stone that we pick between.  Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

There’s a part of me that wants to start working on a farce based on the dichotomies in politics, and there’s another part of me that feels like I’m living it.  Sometimes I think that the most unrealistic stuff in science fiction isn’t the technology or the weird aliens or the strange mental powers or the inevitable sexual hijinks between species that should not be sexually compatible (come on, star trek, seriously?  Everybody’s bits and pieces match up?), the thing that’s the most far out and crazy is the portrayal of governments that are more or less functional.  And the united front that alien species portray to one another.

Anyway, just a little rambling to break up my day.

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