Friday, January 28, 2022
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Are You Not Entertained?

America is facing a lose-lose situation, not just because both candidates are bad choices, but because Americans have fostered un-thankfulness. I know that sounds condescending– my intention is not to minimize the real negative experiences people have because of bad policy– but we didn’t get to where we are by accident.

Think about it this way: if Trump gets elected, we could easily enter a military or trade war that would be devastating to our economy and our safety. We could also have a whole lot of nothing get done, and the hard right would look for an even more extreme candidate to try and force action. The American left will ramp up their rhetoric and lobbying to try and make sure Trump’s policy ideas do not get passed.

If Clinton gets elected, the hard right will just continue to ferment and rage, helping the populist sentiments we have already seen reach epic proportions. The left will probably join them in protesting her inappropriate ties to Wall Street fat cats like Goldman Sachs.

Either choice presents an opportunity for both sides of the political spectrum to shake their fists in the air. If we think this election is wild, what will it be like in 2020? All of that anger and resentment won’t go away. It will grow and get much worse.

So I ask: are you not entertained, America? The aggressive political tactics have only produced two bad options. What do we have to lose by lowering our political guns and starting to talk? I mean talk, real talk without the demonization, without the fear of socialists or the fear of conservatives. Talk where both sides take down their pride a few notches and give up ground so that our society can function. Why don’t we try being thankful for our elected officials, who despite their failings and blunders, and even their purposeful wrongdoing, are piloting a government that most of us wouldn’t be willing to touch?

Let’s be serious. After all our political rants about how evil the government is, very few of us are willing to get off our butts and actually try to do something about the issues we face. You might say the system is rigged against you, and it might be, but what’s really wrong is that we love to complain. We love to point the finger, to shrug responsibility.

The truth is, we have a system of governance where we could elect people who make good decisions. Yet not many people—and I’ll be honest that I’m one of them—pay much attention to politics on the state and congressional level. We just show up, if we show up at all, and check the box of our favored party. We can write someone in. We don’t have to vote for Trump or Clinton.

The truth is, if we keep on letting cynicism rule our lives and we draw back from participating in our government, we’ll only ever get Trumps and Clintons. If we accept the narrative that our political system is broken beyond repair, then we will see it come into fruition by our own self-cultivated ignorance and disengagement.

Maybe we have become disillusioned because the political world is a place where no one really wins in the end. That’s the point of democracy. It ends in the middle, not with the goal we had in mind. If we can learn to be okay with that, learn to be okay with not winning, then maybe we can make some progress.

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