When Human Nature Clashes with Politics
I know an honorable man, who for the sake of anonymity we'll call Dan. He is a veteran and a die-hard Republican. You name it, and chances are he listens to it: Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, The Blaze, etc. There is no changing the man (and if you knew him, you wouldn't want to, either).
About a year ago, Donald Trump announced his candidacy. The words he used during his announcement were talked about for several weeks -and many of those words echo to this day. He called Mexicans many things that I won't repeat, yet this past November 8th, he was elected president.
I was the first person to tell Dan that Donald Trump had announced he was running for president of the United States of America. Dan responded by laughing and saying that Donald Trump was nothing but a 'chump.'
Why, then, did Dan go on to vote for Trump a year and a half later?
Because people are jerks. We hope that bad things will happen in circumstances that often times have no effect on us. We secretly root for outcomes that our opponents are hoping against. In fact, we do it all the time without thinking, and when we are confronted for having these malicious ideas, we rationalize. Let me give you a personal example:
I wanted the Cubs to lose the world series. Let's look at game 7 of the world series from an outsider-perspective -say, maybe from the point of view of someone who likes sports, but does not particularly follow baseball. The Cubs hadn't won a World Series since the Ottoman Empire was still around. They had come back from a 3 - 1 deficit in the series against a tough Cleveland Indians team. They did not have home field advantage and they were inches from breaking a hundred year drought in their franchise's history. Good for them, right?
Not to me. I wanted them to lose. I don't really care much for baseball, but I wanted them to lose and wait another hundred years until they had a chance to absolve themselves. I had no stake in the game either: no bets, no money on the line. When my girlfriend (whose family is made up of Cubs fans) asked me why I didn't want them to win, I rationalized: "I have family in Cleveland. Plus, I'm a Cavaliers fan. It'd be cool to see them win!"
It's true. I love the Cavaliers and I do have family in Cleveland. Did I ever tune-in to an Indian's game during the regular season? Not at all. Do I care about baseball? Nope. But there was something in me that yearned for a Cubs loss -and whatever this evil yearning is, it is prevalent in every corner of our society. Here are some examples to name a few:
- The Select Committee on Benghazi spent about two and a half years (as well as over $7 million) investigating Hillary Clinton's involvement in the attacks on an American embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th, 2012. Yet not a single day has been spent on investigating allegations of Russia influencing American elections. More importantly, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Dean Heller introduced a bill to reduce embassy security by 50% -even though they were the most boisterous during the Benghazi investigation. So what was the investigation really about?1
- Today, the U.S. Senate voted 51 - 48 to gut the Affordable Care Act. However, no word has been given as to what the majority party will do to replace Obamacare. Were Senate and House Republicans really not in favor of the piece of legislation? Or were they simply trying to get rid of Obamacare because President Obama championed the bill?2
- Sean Hannity and Fox News (as well as most conservative media) have been denying that President Elect Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter. However, there is video evidence of Donald Trump clearly mocking a reporter at a rally on November 24th, 2015. Do conservative media outlets genuinely believe that Trump was not mocking a disabled man? Or are they trying to delegitimatize the other side of the aisle for no good reason?3
I'll let you be the judge but I will leave you with this: hypocrisy, thy name is you. Every time we point a finger at someone, let's not forget that there are three more pointing right back at us. It comes in many shapes and forms but until we come in terms with our inner thoughts and feelings, and recognize the troublesome ones, we will never truly win as a nation. When human nature clashes with politics, every side has something to lose, whether it is credibility, trust, votes or elections.
Until we recognize this stubbornness and hypocrisy within us, we cannot hope to sway the minds of the undecided voters or even those who are closest to us, but on the opposite side of the aisle. I love Dan to death and the way he voted does not make him a bad person: the reason he did though, must be explored. Whether it was because he genuinely believed in Trump's ideas or because he didn't like Hillary does not matter- both of these reasons are ignorant in the sense that his ideas are not his own. So what ideas motivate you that are not your own? Why are they there? Where did they come from?