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Why Are We So Passionate About Politics?

Updated on September 8, 2008

Sometimes I even shock myself. There I was, sitting in front of the television yelling at it like a crazy person. On every level I knew that this was not only wrong but a bit embarrassing. Perhaps it was not only due to the fact that I was yelling but the stream of obscenities that were spewing forth from my mouth was shocking (even for me). When my spouse came into the room to see what all the yelling was about I knew it was time to stop watching McCain accept his nomination and time to start watching some sort of inane VH1 pseudo-reality show that had no consequence whatsoever (other than somehow convincing the youth of today that if they just were bitches with large breasts they could someday have a reality show - hello "New York" are you listening?). It wasn't until a few days later, reflecting back on the incident that I began to wonder, why are we so passionate about politics? - Don't Get Me Started!

I know why were supposed to be passionate about politics. After all, it is our government, you know the one that is supposed to be "for the people by the people" but other than some donations here and there, I stopped believing it was "by the people" when I learned about the electoral college (something I still struggle with trying to understand its existence now that the civil war is supposedly over). So why in God's name (or even Liza Minnelli's) are we all so passionate about this thing called politics?

I started asking people around me and while I'd like to say it all became much clearer and I have some excellent answers for you, the truth of the matter is that in most cases I just ended up riling up other people who began to spew their own political opinion on me giving no insight whatsoever as to why it upsets all of us so much. I didn't really care who they were voting for but that seemed to be all that people really wanted to talk about for some reason. So you have to begin to ask yourself if we're passionate about the candidates or just like a good debate or our side (team, whatever) winning? Honestly, as I spoke (and listened to people) I really saw their blood pressure climb and their sense of reason go right out of the window. They said some of the dumbest things I've ever heard (not unlike my screaming at the television). At one point I said, "Well, I'm worried that when push comes to shove and people are in those small cubbies doing their voting their going to decide that it's just better to go with another old white guy because at least we know what that feels like and is all about." The person I was talking to said, "I hope you're right." All that was missing was for them to say, "I'm PRAYING you're right." My point is that once again, it doesn't seem to be about what's best for the country as much as it seems to be about being "right" or winning.

So if that's the case, is this just another Olympics for us couch potatoes? Is this our way of cheering on people who have trained way beyond what we ourselves could do but we want to seem as though we could do it if we really wanted to and that they represent us simply because we're from the same country? I don't know but it seems to me that there are comparisons to be made there considering they're both competitive sports and we seem to care more about the medal count and discrediting others who might possibly get in the way of us getting more of our precious medals more than anything else. (Yes, Lord Of The Rings, "My pretty, my precious" reference intended.)

What I discovered was that more than answers I just ended up with more questions than anything else (while getting a lot of people riled up). I want to believe that I personally get so crazed about all of this because it makes me a better American and more connected to the people who will ultimately be in a better position to help this country help its inhabitants than I can from my small space in the world. But there's a part of me that believes that I'm just another competitive American who wants my team to win, to have someone whose poster I can put on my wall and feel as though their accomplishments are mine too. (Hello, isn't this why NASCAR is so popular with the masses?) I've always known I was a passionate person but I hope for the sake of my spouse, my cats and common decency that I can contain myself in the weeks ahead as both parties spew statements designed to get us all riled up. And if any of you out there can answer my question (without talking about why your candidate is better than my candidate) I'd love to know why we're so passionate about politics? - Don't Get Me Started!

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    • Prince Farhan profile image

      Prince Farhan 9 years ago from Johor, Malaysia.

      Because the politics is way to find the greatest leader to pick us to great future. In Malaysia, the politics is very important you know. The politision must really want to take their people to the great future, to be our leder.

    • talented_ink profile image

      talented_ink 9 years ago from USA

      As I've gotten wiser(at least I'd like to believe so), I've come to the conclusion that we get passionate about politics because we still want to believe that our vote and our voice matters. Some people believe that statement with the naivety and innocence that little kids believe in Santa Claus. In other words, they think their vote could possibly change things, but they're also willing to chalk their excitement up as pointless. I know that we all can effect even the smallest positive change either by actually changing another person's life or by raising awareness of a problem since eventually someone will be made aware that can actually drum up a solution. This is a good hub and I'd love your opinion on mine.

      p.s. - I hope you don't lose your passion for politics because this country needs more people to feel like you.

    • teeray profile image

      teeray 9 years ago from Canada

      "...yelling like a crazy person..." *gasp* No, not YOU, somelikeitscott! I wonder if the people who responded to your questions were observing the North American mantra 'freedom of speech' before the logical - 'know thy subject before engaging in debate'!