26
Oct

H1N1 and Party Lines

   Posted by: Garrett   in Family, Health, Information, Politics

I know, a weird title. But they do go together.

I was talking with my mom recently about our youngest, who had H1N1 last week (he’s much better now, thanks!).

My parents live in California, where the H1N1 stories in the news are fairly common and tend to highlight cases that seem to be people who are not in the “high-risk” groups, providing details about this pandemic. While, here in Utah, I really don’t hear very much on the news, and the stories tend to be about ways to stay healthy and about how this is just another flu and the death rate is as expected.

So, while we weren’t too worried, I’m sure my mom was kind of freaking out.

It got me thinking about why a Democratic state would focus on the negatives and a Republican state would be more optimistic. (This is where the “party” lines comes in). After all, I am a fairly optimistic person.

I’m not so sure this has to do with pessimism versus optimism as a nature of certain parties, though. While some may argue this, I think it goes deeper, into the world view of those in each party.

Democrats tend to be more focused on the poor, the downtrodden, the under-represented. Republicans tend to be more focused on free markets and improving from the top, keeping government out of our lives. These are simplistic definitions, obviously, but I feel they are useful here, if not completely black-and-white.

In California, the focus seems to be on these suffering people and how bad this is, how we need help to fix the problem. In Utah, the focus seems to be on how we can handle this problem ourselves and reassuring us that we can do it.

In some ways I think these world views tie in with how people take on the “global warming” issue, even. From the, in my opinion, exaggerated sky-is-falling outcries on the left, to the nothing-to-fear-but-fear-itself, we-are-not-the-cause anti-response of the far right. The answer here, and for H1N1, is somewhere in the middle – a complex, problematic issue that is not easily solvable, nor should it be ignored.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 6:00 pm and is filed under Family, Health, Information, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.