- Politics and Social Issues»
- United States Politics
Who's With Whom, Now? Wait, What?!
Let me preface all of this by saying that I am not “political”. No one that does or has ever truly known me would advise you to engage me in a politically-fueled discussion. Well, there was that ONE night with a certain darling cousin of mine (thanks, Carissa!!!!), during which I chose to listen to some particularly valid, not to mention compelling insights which I had never bothered to pay attention to previously. Outside of that instance, I have to be honest here: I just don’t care.
Hear me out! Do I want to change ANY of you? No. Will I likely zone out if and when you decide to breach the topic? Yeah, probably. BUT I’ll be polite about it. Do I HAVE opinions regarding politics? Some. And please, for the love of all, do NOT be that guy that preaches to me that, “If you don’t vote, you can’t bitch!” Again, not much for the caring over here, so you probably won’t hear that much out of me regarding the topic of politics, let alone how it’s somehow failed me.
I will, on occasion, and when challenged by someone who feels the need to berate me regarding my political apathy, feel compelled to tell them that I don’t feel that my vote matters. This usually sparks an even larger, emotionally-charged debate (because politics, as little as I know about them, should OBVIOUSLY be emotionally-charged and motivated). However, my reason for feeling the way that I do is quite simple. All I do is ask that you consider my point of view.
If those who truly wield the power of this country are able to overthrow the consensus of the majority of those actually voting, I don’t feel that I need to make the effort to register, take time away from my personal life, stand in line, vote, collect my sticker and promote my patriotism. Sorry, but I’ve felt this way since I was about 14 and learned about electoral colleges, why they exist, and what they are ultimately allowed to do.
Before you foam at the mouth, please, just read on a bit further, because I’m not altogether apathetic as a person, nor am I ignorant, uneducated or misinformed. Much to the contrary, I simply feel that this particular (overly-consuming) time of every four years could be spent more productively for those of us which have no control over the actual outcome. Like being kind to one and other. Yet every political term we make a conscience decision to divide ourselves into distinct opposing masses of individuals, who actually have the same ultimate goals. We want to thrive, we want to be treated equally, and we want to coexist harmoniously. So WHY then, do we fight each other over who makes our country’s decisions if, in reality, no matter how we cast our vote someone who ‘knows better’ can alter the outcome?
And I’m sorry, but am I the ONLY one actually seeing and listening to these ridiculous advertisements touting our political choices? Seriously, remove yourself from any and all preconceived notions of who you are on a political level, and just LISTEN to what these people are saying!
These candidates are not only allowed, but EXPECTED to campaign and solicit support and funding from American citizens in order to broadcast their (usually quite narrow) beliefs, asking us to side with them. To drink their Kool-Aid. It could be O.J. Simpson running against Michael Lohan, but we are SO conditioned to believe that one must be a better choice than the other, that we must align ourselves accordingly. Why?!
Every candidate’s message will inevitably add up to the fact that we need to unite in order to persevere. For this reason alone we should be asking ourselves why they’ve arranged and relentlessly groomed us to accept a system in which we’re asked to choose between the lesser of two evils. Why shouldn’t we have ONE group, one party of candidates who truly only want the best for us and themselves. Surely we’re not too ignorant to form our own opinions based on each individual’s character and convictions! So why should it matter if they label themselves with the archaic symbolism of being a Republican or a Democrat, etc.? It’s almost as though we’re a child of divorce, holding our blank little ballot in our hand, and trying to decide if we want to live with mommy or daddy. Mommy has many great qualities, but she also makes us do our homework. Daddy’s got a lot of wonderful qualities as well, but he also snores so loud that it rattles the entire house. So WHO do you want to live with?! Really?
If democracy is the true goal of our nation, then why should we be forced to choose and support a solitary person to make our most important decisions? Again, I’m not ignorant, I understand that there are other branches of government, and that they are licensed with the responsibility of effectively conveying the desires of their constituents. I’m also not a child, so I recognize that most of said-governmental branches are, by nature, made up of narcissists and sociopaths. BLAH BLAH FINISH THE THOUGHT. .. .
You know what DOES make sense to me? Kindness. Empathy. Compassion and remorse. We are all flawed and imperfect, yet we choose to be naïve enough to convince ourselves that we’re going to choose a leader who isn’t. He/she has a platform, confidence, funding and a microphone, so they probably know what’s best for the rest of us. Or, at least our imperfect system has taught us that we must choose the candidate who reminds us most of ourselves. I’m a lot of things, but a speaker of the people I could never be. Could you? If you truly sit and consider the kind of responsibility involved with being such a person, how many people do you think you could name? And would any of them actually be able to promote themselves, asking for funding and support, your blind faith and devotion? Probably not.
So again, here I sit. Trying to convey my reasoning for feeling apathetic regarding the entire theatrical display which is for whatever reason dubbed “Politics”. All I can think to say to those that do not understand my position is this: I’d rather be making an actual difference. Perhaps my reach isn’t at a national level, but it does make a difference. Instead of researching the background and current views of my favorite or my most-despised candidate, I’m playing with my kids. Volunteering at the animal shelter. Pursuing higher learning. Instead of watching some televised debate, I’m watching reruns of Friends and Mr. Ed. Because, quite frankly, I feel that my time is better spent focusing on my own development of self, things that I as a person enjoy, and most importantly: things that I can actually control and/or effect in a meaningful and impactful way.
All of that said, my family just might disown me because of this tangent, so let’s not mince words. If you ask me about voting, my answer will likely never change. Where do I stand in today’s world, what are my ideals regarding current policy, etc.? I’m just going to do me. Do with that information what you will. And I know you will. Now let’s talk about sports!