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by Brian Clarey

Are people still talking about pornography on the Greensboro Public Libraries?

Of course they are — certainly in the local blogosphere, where the subject has spilled over into a dozen or so threads eliciting scores of comments.

It’s the perfect subject for many, both online and off — though we admit that we haven’t had too many in-the-flesh conversations about it in our travels around the Triad. Porn is by nature salacious, and the image of someone viewing it in the library is disconcerting. It offers a chance for righteous indignation, which for some in our community is more addictive than shopping or crack, and creates opportunity to name boogeymen who would destroy our way of life — surely anyone against a major overhaul in the public library’s internet-filtering system is a smut peddler at heart. And it makes a fine wedge issue upon which politicians can posture: I am against pornography in our libraries, while my opponent… you get the picture.

For the record, we feel pornography is a legal and lucrative businesss, popular to the tune of $13 billion a year, remarkable when you consider most of it is free. And looking at it in a library is gross and creepy.

Moving on….

We only bring it up because it neatly illustrates the political conversation we are having in this city, this county, this nation as we approach the mid-term elections and the candidates seek to whip their respective bases into frenzied, visceral, voting automatons.

Over the next couple months, when voters and candidates should be discussing our single largest domestic problem — the faltering economy and lack of jobs— there will be instead deep, heated debate over a mosque in lower Manhattan; vilification of special interest groups, immigrants, corporations and unions; exposure of bad behavior by candidates in their personal lives; extensive coverage of political protests with very little analysis of what they are actually protesting. There will be yelling — oh yes there will be yelling — from both sides of the altar as the voting public once again becomes the unwitting pawn of the dog-and-pony show that the US electoral process has become.

We think this country can do better. We ask our readers not to be dragged down by confrontational rhetoric, whatever stripe of the political spectrum they fall under, and to realize that we are all Americans, and as such we have equal voice in the democracy. We ask you to acknowledge there is room for opinions that differ from your own, and that in most cases simple majority rules.

We ask you to recognize the laws of mathematics and understand that tax cuts and deficit reductions are, generally speaking, mutually exclusive.

We ask you to consider your own self interests wherever they may lie, but particularly in terms of taxation and benefits.

And we ask you to resist the urge to shout down someone with whom you disagree, because that’s not how you win a debate.

Ask lots of questions. Watch for spin. And follow it all at our politics website, www.triadpolitics.info. See you at the polls in November.

YES! Weekly chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration

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