Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

The scourge, the cancer, of politics

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I always knew in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t be able to post here as much as I wanted. Work, life, sleep, and reality all come between my brain and this blog. Even despite all those distractions, I still love coming back and sharing my thoughts. I just have to accept and own any gap of time between posts.

What I do have a problem with, however, is how politics has so saturated our lives in this disgrace of an election cycle that it feels like there is nothing else to talk about. Politics is everywhere. Politics is divisive. Politics is tiresome, frustrating, and pointless. It rips families and friendships apart. It turns words like “compromise” and “disagreement” into displays of weakness. It is among the worst of human traits.

And it’s inescapable.

The truth is I had not planned to avoid the topic altogether. I believe in being very transparent about who I am, about what my values are, and that includes going into detail about my personal political views and what experiences I have had in my life that have informed them. I even began to post about these views one by one until life interfered. However, when you combine the relative infrequency with which I have been able to post with the relentless, nauseating coverage of this election and all its gaffes and finger-pointing and angry tweets and the occasional cold-blooded gun massacre, it has left me wanting to hide with my fingers in my ears in a fort made of pillows.

As days pass and we think not about whom we want to vote FOR but rather whom we want to vote AGAINST, whom we need to make sure stays out of office, I get to wondering if this is really the best we can do. As a world superpower almost in spite of ourselves, what we do and how we do it comes under everyone’s scrutiny the whole world over. A country that likes to pat itself on the back for how great it thinks it is and that makes a sport of “exporting democracy” to the areas of the world it self-righteously deems most in need can’t run an election without mud, without pitting relatives and friends against each other, without fighting a cold “civil” war over issues on which there will never be any true agreement.

The truth is this is not one nation, no matter how often politicians of both major political parties may say otherwise. E pluribus unum – “Out of many (things), one (thing)” – is nothing more than a rhetorical device used to force unity among several very different groups at a time when it was expedient to do so. We are maybe six or seven different nations, culturally speaking, divided by things like education, religious adherence, whether we live in cities, and whether we have an actual desire (not just a stated one) to help our fellow citizens. I wish I didn’t have to share a country with the people who espouse views that turn my stomach and make my skin crawl, but I do, and I have to make sure I am a reason people end up in political office who either change the minds of those who would take us back to the awful “good old days” or, at the very least, render their views and the hypocritical, bullying noise they spew on TV and the internet not even a little bit relevant.

My life is at stake here. All our lives are.

So until the election is over and perhaps even after, no matter what I may talk about or think about, politics will always be on my mind. I will think of it every time I get a news alert on my phone. I will think of it every time I ride the subway on my way to work. I will think of it when I foolishly dip my toes once again into the degenerate echo chamber of social media where the stubborn, sanctimonious, spineless, and stupid have a platform to spread their poison like never before. I will think of it when I wring my hands wondering what to do about a friend who almost proudly announced recently that he was intent on cutting out of his life those who believe in a lot of what I believe in. I may even still be thinking of it as I look for a place to live in Canada.

This cancer can’t be gone soon enough.

Written by Dave

July 31, 2016 at 10:52

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