How I feel after a day of weeding through political posts on Facebook - drained of my life force
I feel awkward. I have Facebook friends of both the right and left persuasions. I have my political views but I keep them tucked away, only to be used in extreme cases of outrage and public pandemonium. I do not engage in the political speak that goes on in open forums. I find them pointless for the most part. But I have friends that grunt and growl and spit out their political observations on Facebook on an almost daily basis. And I have found one common theme among these Friends. Whether they are left or right, Democrat, Republican or Tea, they are all angry, angry to disturbing degrees in most cases. My Friends on the left use a greater number of four letter words to describe their anger, while my Friends on the right use a greater number of God condemning passages to express theirs. But it all leads to the same result. They’re so angry they’re not listening. They’re just shouting.
It’s this same approach and attitude that has Congress facing a 10% approval rating. They aren’t listening to each other. They’re shouting. I don’t know if they are reflecting the general disposition of the public or if the public is mimicking Congress. Whatever the situation, it’s a useless tactic that leaves those of us willing to listen to both sides feeling like there’s really nothing worth listening to from either side.
My dad told many years ago that zealotry is the pathway to ruin. I didn’t really understand him at the time, but now I do.
Wait, I missed the debate on the pubic option!
I have watched the debate over health care with interest since the first Clinton Administration. I’ve seen and heard proponents, opponents, ne’er-do-wells, stand-up comics, average Joes, educated folks, etc. argue and plea for and against health care for so long, it’s all melded into one jumbled mess in my brain. There has been an explosion of information ignited by both sides of the argument for decades, and I have come to one definitive conclusion. I have been meticulously and earnestly lied to repeatedly by all sides. This stopped being about doing the right thing a long time ago, and is now just about being right. The Democrats were looking for a victory, and the Republicans were bent on robbing them of that victory. The actual bill they fought over didn’t matter.
I am not excited or angry by the passage of the health care bill because I have no idea what the actual pros and cons of the bill are. Both sides claim the other is wrong. I’m not talking about morally wrong (although there is some of that going on). Each side has argued the facts that their opponents are using to support their argument are wrong. How can that be? Experts are cited and then other experts are cited to counter the other side’s experts. It’s a dizzying array of pointless growling and chatter. The debate itself ceased to be a debate a long time ago. It’s now just a bunch of people shouting at each other. Honest political debate is as rare as getting a slinky to go back up the stairs.
What’s a confused boy like me to do? I have decided the only appropriate course of action for me to take is to be disgusted by my government and the political process in this country. I don’t buy into the discourse that one political party is more at fault than the other. I think they both suck equally. And I don’t think it’s a matter of throwing the bums out. We’ll just elect more bums. You know why? Because being a bum is a major qualification for running for political office. They’re always asking for money, and they always end up spending it to feed their bad habits, which, as far as I can tell, is running for political office.
So, in conclusion, yippee we have health care… and boo we have health care.
The mainstream media would have you believe that this election is over. That a certain charismatic candidate has charmed the American people into a state of pre-election frenzy of hope & change, that the mere act of voting is wholly unnecessary because their candidate will simply ascend to the throne of U.S. Presidency like some angelic entity that is more ethereal than human.
Vote Now! Vote Cowbell!
So, I’m sending out this plea far and wide. Don’t believe this election is over. Our candidate can still win. All you have to do is vote Walken on Tuesday. If you want more cowbell, this is the only way you’re going to get it. The other candidates aren’t even talking about cowbell. Why? Because they have no cowbell plan. It’s all war and taxes with those other presidential hopefuls. Only Walken wants you to have your cowbell. Let freedom ring! (In this case freedom is a metaphor for cowbell. Get it?)
I watched the debate last night and got absolutely nothing out of it. The only thing I learned is that I am secure in my choice to be neither a Republican nor a Democrat because I don’t agree 100% with either party. In my search for a defintion of exactly what each candidate stands for I found these interesting videos from none other than Marina Orlova of HotForWords fame. I keep stumbling across her videos in the most unexpected Google searches. BTW – if you’re offended by cleavage, don’t watch this video.
We are in the homestretch of what has been an interminably long presidential campaign. Primaries, caucuses, polls, issues, wars, and even attire have been discussed and analyzed ad nauseum. And where has it gotten us? Smack in the middle of a competition that is in a virtual dead heat. The closeness of the race has encouraged some very bad behavior. Emails have been hacked. Intentional misstatements have been made. Race and gender and age have all been used in vicious attacks from all sides of this more than ugly affair. Both sides are saying experience is an issue while at the same time promoting change. It is utter madness. In short, the politicians are ruining this presidential campaign. As a YA author, I know I should be encouraging kids to take part in the process, but I can’t in good conscience promote their participation. Why should I? So, they can learn the art of spin, or how to be caddy and unseemly and still have the gall to say you’re taking the high road?
The only reason I would encourage the youth of America to get involved and pay attention is to learn what needs to be fixed. In essence, my plea is a plea for help. To every child from every corner of this country, please save us from this system. Come up with a better way. Remove the politicians from politics. I had a friend suggest that once the two candidates are picked after the primaries we should develop a multiple choice test that covers the ten major issues where each party holds opposite views. Instead of voting, we all take the test. Our vote subsequently goes to the candidate with which we most agree. No fuss. No muss. No more personal attacks after the primaries. We’ll actually talk about the issues. It sounds like the perfect solution.
So, young people, if you’re brave and you have the will to enact real change, get involved. Come up with a plan to make the system about the issues not the politicians. Please – and if you can come up with a plan before November, that would be great.
I hope these two kiss and make up soon. Way too much at stake for them to be mad at each other. Maybe this clip from minimovie.com will remind them of the special kind of friendship they once shared.
As we head into the homestretch of the presidential election, this Ben Sollee song perfectly captures what I expect, and rarely get from our politicians. Just A Few Honest Words. If only.