I love organizing things and individuals into groups. Strip them of any unique attributes and assign them general characteristics and behaviors until they are little more than the identical ethnic stereotypes I get to shoot in video games. It makes it easier to understand the world. Everyone acts the way they do because of what they are. Protests in the Middle East? Those crazed Muslims are finally free of US-aligned leaders and have been unleashed by vengeful mullahs and imams from Benghazi to Tehran. It was just like Black Hawk Down! Well, if all Muslims are violent jihadis, then we should just cut off all aid to any country that experienced protests. Boom, problem solved.
The only contraceptive I’ve ever used is a condom. All contraceptives work just like that. Mitt Romney is rich, all Republicans hold the poor in contempt. We make monoliths for everything. Liberals are all big spending and spineless; conservatives bigoted and heartless. It’s like Soylent Green. All types of people go in. They look different, think differently, come from different places; once they go through that machine though, they all come out Soylent Green and then an old white guy screams about it. El Salvadorans go in, fence-hopping-job-stealers come out. Yemeni teens go in, enemy combatants come out.
Wasn’t that easy? Where there was once confusion and uncertainty, there is now the comforting feeling of absolute terror. Republicans are coming! They want to take all your safety nets and use the money to shoot brown people and discriminate gays! Obama’s going to use your grandmother’s body as lubricant for his wind turbines! Anything that clashes with my worldview is some sort of conspiracy. That’s how a Muslim Brotherhood mole is operating right under our noses in the State Department. This probably indicates a much deeper secret Islamist agenda in Washington.
I hope that the candidates continue to address these monolithic threats to America. Despite the fact that, according to both candidates, either outcome will result in a Dark Reckoning (undecided voters, please read deeply into racial implications). My point is that it is far too easy and tempting to break something infinitely complicated into a few stereotyped traits. The effect on politics and society in general is disheartening. Just remember, like Soylent Green, those monoliths are people.