(I’m having a hard time figuring out how to begin this piece. Considering I am writing a week in advance, I can only speculate as to what is going to be happening in the world around me on this Election Day 2020. To give everyone fair warning, I do not speak on political matters unless asked my opinion, so if you continue from this point forward, consider yourself asking for it and please don’t reach out to my social media to fight about it later.)
When it comes to the current political climate in the US, I really only have one main question: how the hell did we get here?? It appears that us Americans are suffering from a terrible case of chronic electile dysfunction and there’s no little blue pill to fix it.
I would venture to say, not since the Civil War has the US been this chaotic and divided. Nobody knows what is going on, we’re all living day-to-day waiting for the next big “what now” to happen and everyone is angry. To be quite frank, it sucks. I am by no means a wide-eyed, naïve optimist who believes we should all just be able to get along, but somewhere down the line we were told there was no option for middle ground and we never questioned it. Poof! All the sudden we’re living in extreme black and white, far left or far right, with no wiggle room for simple common sense and decency and I refuse to subscribe to it. We’ve been given the illusion of “choice” when in fact they’re both terrible choices that no one should ever have to make because there are plenty of normal, decent options out there. It’s like asking someone if they would rather burn or drown; you’re still going to end up dead right??
For I’m assuming good reasons, there are some people who not only endorse these two candidates, but seem to idolize them like either are the answer to fixing the broken state of our union. I sincerely would like for that to be true, but unfortunately when I consider the outcome of this election, I only see more discontentment, hostility and chaos. Everyone seems to be choosing sides not based on actual policies, but because they see it as the lesser of two evils.
I wish we were holding our government more accountable for this political pickle we’ve found ourselves in by imposing higher standards. As someone who just spent half a year searching for a job, it seems outrageous that I have to have a bachelor’s degree, 5 years of experience, go through 3-4 interviews and pass a drug screen just to get a job as an office manager, but apparently you can become leader of the free country at 300 years old with no political or military experience, a history of creepy behavior, nepotism and let’s face it, bad hair. (And I am referring to both of our potential candidates.) To me, common sense would say we need to rely on only the best-of-the-best when it comes to making important decisions for our country, and they should be vetted as such. Someone who has climbed to the highest ranks in the military, has some sort of background in politics and is in the peak of their lifespan (around 45-60 if you ask me) seems like a good place to start. Maybe it would be asking too much to hope they don’t also have a history of sexual harassment or corruption, but let’s shoot for the moon.
In the 24-hour news feed world, both nothing and everything is believable at once. “Reality” TV is scripted, truth is stranger than fiction and “influencer” is an actual job title- how do we know with certainty where the lines between truth and fiction are blurred? When the reputable news sources no longer exist to present the facts but instead to tell you how to feel, how do you know what to believe? The answer for me personally has been to tune out and focus only on the things I am seeing with my own two eyes around me. That’s not to say there aren’t issues outside of my bubble, but if everyone would focus more on the things they’re capable of changing firsthand, I feel a lot more progress could be made. The only thing you can control is yourself, so by becoming a better human being, you’re in turn creating a better world.
I have no desire to tell anyone how to feel politically. Matters of the heart this big are created over a lifetime of personal experiences of which I cannot argue against. I am simply encouraging all of us to be kinder to one another. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online. Take a breather from the media and think for yourself. Ask yourself, within your own life, are you actually seeing these supposed evils from people on the opposite side of the fence? Talk to your friends and neighbors, especially those who are different from you and really listen to understand the reasons they feel like they do. We’ve all gotten way too comfortable being negative and it shows. And for Pete’s sake, can we all ask for just a bit more out of our leaders? I don’t know about you, but if I ask for a restaurant recommendation, I’m far more likely to trust the manager who started as a busboy 15 years ago than the investor with a fat checkbook who stops in once a week for a free meal.
I look forward to getting this election over with and hopefully moving on to a more positive, enlightened and happy future. See you guys next week.