Look out for one another | AspenTimes.com

Look out for one another

Dear Editor:

Karl Rove, who should be given a fair trial and shot for treason, was effective in getting Bush elected by exploiting the worst in our human nature. He is the master of polarization.

Next comes Steve Schmidt. He is Rove’s protege from the Bush years. Schmidt has the same strategy of attacking the opponent with lies and name-calling. Studying their tactics demonstrates how despicable and dishonorable they are. Just remember “swift boating” and “McCain has a black child.” Rove-Schmidt tactics are a new low in political history, and that’s pretty lowdown.

The reason Rove and Schmidt are so vile and, to their credit, successful, is because they prey upon our baser instincts and weaknesses.

We’re gullible. We can’t get enough of supermarket tabloids, Jerry Springer or Paris Hilton. We gawk at car wrecks and hockey fights. We default to pettiness and tend toward selfishness, ignorance and name-calling.

On the other hand, I always will believe that people will do the right thing if they’re given good information. Our similarities outnumber our differences, but you wouldn’t know it listening to Rove or Schmidt.

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As an example, many people in rural Colorado make fun of the super privileged, fur-wearing people in Aspen. Likewise, it is sometimes scary for Aspenites to go to the “real” world where people in camouflage hats buy 32-ounce fountain drinks. Both opinions are legitimate but they miss the big picture.

While we’re busy calling each other “redneck” and “latte drinker,” an oil company is dropping a drill rig 100 feet from someone’s front door in Rifle and getting leases to drill in roadless areas near Aspen. The rancher and the environmentalist actually are on the same team. Those ranchers need us and we need them. The oil companies and government screw the rancher and the environmentalist equally.

With the Rove-Schmidt campaign strategy geared up, the political scene is about to

get very stupid. Bush has the economy on its knees. We’re way past the luxury of deciding which guy we’ll have a beer with. When someone tries to convince you to start name-calling, remember the fundamentals: We’re Americans. We’re supposed to look out for each other. The world needs America to solve problems such as climate change and make peace between nations. They can’t do it. And without new leadership we can’t either.

Jim Paussa

Basalt

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