First of all, let me say, these posters are gorgeous. Outtacontext, you rock. As a poster designer.
But I find the politics expressed by the posters to be… frankly annoying.
Not all disagreements are shallow partisanship. Some disagreements are based on substance. But “substance” — which is what I’d really like everyone’s politics to be focused on — is entirely ignored by the “stop the partisan bickering!” folks.
If a policy position is right, then it’s also right to advocate for it passionately — even if that turns out, in practice, to create “disunity.” Unity is not the most important value in the world.
One of Outtacontext’s posters calls on us to “vote moderate” in 2010. But is the “moderate” position always correct? Historically, we can see many cases in which splitting the difference between two major sides would have produced fairly horrible and unjust policy. For instance, when the question was if women should be allowed to vote, a “moderate” position might have been to grant women limited voting rights (the right to vote in local but not Federal elections, for example). A position can split the difference and still be horribly wrong.
I’d suggest that, next time Outtacontext is looking for inspiration for posters, he should read Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” which — among other things — covers the difference between being moderate and being right.
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another mans freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro the wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating that absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
Of course, there’s a lot about partianship as it’s practiced that I have criticized and will criticize. But on the whole, I agree with Nancy Rosemblum: “What we need is not independence or bipartisanship or post-partisanship but better partisanship.”