It is the opinion of this humble blogger that you are entirely too concerned with recent redecorating of the Oval Office.
Now, no doubt decoration is a fine thing, and a worthy endeavor deserving of thoughtful criticism. But I don’t think it is worth expending the journalistic and rhetorical resources needed to write entire columns and blog posts on.
This is all the more important to understand because, like everything else politicians do, this redecoration will undoubtedly become the subject of what passes for debate between the Republicans and the Democrats. The Republicans, I’d wager, are even now trying to find something unpatriotic about the color of the new coffee table. Democrats, on the other hand, will leap to the defense of it, probably even if they privately hate it.
Now, I admit, this state of polarization is not itself the fault of either the blogosphere or even the mainstream media, even though everyone says it is. For decades, the political system in the United States has been relentlessly, and perhaps inevitably, moving towards a point at which agreement on anything between the two parties is inconceivable. This is the result of forces beyond the control of any one individual or entity.
Here’s the thing, though: if the two parties can at least battle each other over actual issues concerning the state of the real world, the military, the economy, the culture etc., there is a chance–admittedly a slim one–that the disagreements between the two parties may actually be susceptible of resolution based on actual material evidence.
The decoration of rooms, however, is not such an issue. Neither are countless other arguments over what boils down, at then end of the day, to questions of taste and symbolism. The fact people allow themselves to continually argue over such irresolvable and subjective issues is a serious obstacle to anything like actual competition on matters of policy.