Sunday, September 2, 2012

Why Politics Have Me All Distracted

By the looks of my Facebook news feed and every single national news outlet that ever existed, I must be the only person in America who doesn't want to talk about the upcoming Presidential election. Call it what you will. Immaturity, denial, naivety. I refuse to accept this vicious battle that we call a political campaign as acceptable adult behavior.

Even Bill Schieffer pondered the destruction of American politics due to bi-partisan bullying this past December before things really took a turn for the worse.

In my opinion, Mr. Schieffer took the easy way out as he backtracked on the trajectory that his original sentiments seemed to be taking by concluding that politics have not quite reached the point of no return. Buck up, Mr. Schieffer! I realize you and CBS depend on regular watchers and supporters (most of whom are probably very politically active) to pay the bills, but now is certainly not the time to be hush-hush about the political debacle that continues to play out in shocking detail before our very eyes.

Who is finally going to say, enough is enough? Which of our generations, so sick, so tired of the name calling and empty promises, is finally going to put an end to this?

Politics has become a multimillion dollar industry in this country.

Does anyone else find that alarming?

Am I the only one who thinks it has gone too far? I don't care what side of the argument you fall on, it is the responsibility of every American citizen to recognize and support those things that make this country great as well as to monitor and change those things which bring us down. Politics today do nothing but foster negativity and divide us--pitting us one against the other--at a time when it is most crucial for us all to stand together.

I think back to my elementary and middle school history classes, where I learned about the Founding Fathers and the first generations of American Presidents. Remember Alexander Hamilton and Andrew Burr (presidents, no, although Burr was then VP; but they were leading politicians in their time)? They dueled it out because of Hamilton's public slur of Burr's character during a gubernatorial race in which Burr was a candidate. Hamilton was mortally wounded in the duel and died the next day. Despite its barbarity (Burr was indicted for murder charges that were later dropped or acquitted as dueling was still technically legal at that time) that act seems much more honorable than the political attack ads that now saturate the media.

It is so very easy to hide behind a camera and computer screen. (Trust me. As a blogger, a computer screen becomes a comfortable and quite sturdy safety net--for better or for worse.)

If only every presidential candidate were willing to duel his opposition in defense of his character, we might actually see some integrity in these races. But no, they just whip up another derogatory ad (aka moneymaker) and slander away. The sad part is that we actually believe these ads. They become the substance of the missiles that we throw at one another as we slam our friend's, our brother's, our sister's favored candidate for our own. Its our fault really. With our Facebook squabbles and drunken discussions at the bar, we perpetuate this division. It is a wound that we refuse to allow to heal. We exacerbate the already rife political atmosphere with our own toxic opinions, throwing respect and tact to the wind.

It is disturbing the number of "status updates" on Facebook that announce the un-friending of individuals (who are oftentimes family members) over differing political views. That is ridiculous.

At one time, voting was thought of as a hard-earned privilege. Discretion in a person's preferred candidate was also sought and respected.

Do you find it odd that a society that plasters the names and faces of their preferred candidates on their cars and in their home and office windows still goes into a booth, behind a curtain to cast their vote? That curtain has lost its place. Discretion has fled the scene.

I find it hard to see any of that as a good sign.

But is there really any difference between a Republican and a Democrat? I'm not talking about the issues here. This is not a discussion of the morality of abortion or convictions about gay marriage. This is about the bare bones facts.

Republicans, democrats, independents all possess similar if not the exact same qualities that fuel their desired rise to Executive Branch. These are qualities that I think should be always in the forefront of our minds:

They are all politicians.
They all have agendas.
They all want your vote.

This is why politicians, when speaking off the cuff tend to make FOOLS of themselves. There's President Obama and the "you didn't build that" disaster. Let's please not talk about Todd Akin and his ignorant, Medieval thoughts on "legitimate rape" (whatever the hell that is). We need to literally shut-up these politicians. Muzzle them. Cut out their tongues!

It is hard if not physically painful to listen to the ignorant, unfounded, arrogant things they spew. I think they should be made to write everything down first before speaking even with their prepared speeches and tele-prompts.

Think now. Talk later.

But they won't do that and the worse part is that we won't demand it. Politics have replaced the afternoon soap operas. And we all wondered why their ratings dropped? We were too wrapped up in political drama to care about our favorite soap stars anymore.

It needs to stop, but it won't.

Just think what would happen if come election day, we all stayed at home, or went to work as if it was unlike any other day?

What if we all just refused to vote?


*Editor's Note: Politics are not a healthy distraction. However, if they keep your thoughts firmly removed from your med student husband's demise, maybe they are worth a few thoughts!

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