Politicians aren’t going to unite us
Friday night I bowed out of a little messaging group — it’s a group of funny and smart people who are currently really invested in the US elections. Mostly POTUS, because The Cult of the Presidency won’t die, but also heavily into the other Federal races. The general consensus of this particular group was Trump has to go, McConnell has to go, Graham has to go. At the surface it appears partisan but, for at least some of them, it wasn’t. I’d argue some of them are politically homeless.
I just couldn’t want the anger and borderline hate. The problem was they were blaming the people, the voters, the volunteers, ..
I should also note I don’t think voting is a default virtue or having a political home is a necessity. Perhaps I’ll discuss that at another time.
Saturday I planned to be outdoors, November 7th opened another part of hunting season in my parts, but there was some footwork that needed doing. I found myself among a group, shortly after the media called the election for Biden/Harris, that was violently skeptical.
I had my field radio and everyone, with the exception of me, wanted to hear the news. NPR was all that was available in any quality. It wasn’t particularly neutral and I think journalists often criticize politicians for word choice and tone but they were terribly incapable of controlling themselves. Their justification is, as it has been for a few years, that Trump is worse (in many more words). I don’t think it should matter but some argue the press should be openly partisan. Who knows ..
Interlude again, I should note the same dynamic appeared — sometimes in reverse — during the Obama, Bush 43, and Clinton presidencies. The ones I have clear memories of.
It got a little more raucous but not more so than the group I ducked out of Friday night. For much of the same reasons I excused myself after some friendly help with maintenance, wished them well, and departed.
Again, I just couldn’t want the anger and borderline hate. Again, the problem was they were blaming the people, the voters, the volunteers, ..
It wasn’t the escape to the outdoors I wanted but I had about fours hours of diving time with my thoughts.
The most naive child inside of me wished President Trump would call presumed President-elect Biden and make a magnanimous suggestion. Tell you what Joe, I’ll concede if we agree on a bipartisan commission to review the irregularities and avoidable mistakes. Not because I think it will change the results for POTUS but these could have very real down-ballot implications at all levels of Government. It’s the only way I, in good conscience, can be sure I’m fulfilling my duty to the American people. They need to trust Government.
In my head I heard both proverbial sides of the current duopoly — but Trump is an ass and wouldn’t even. Hillary is still complaining even today! So forth. And they’re not wrong.
That long introduction is to get to this .. stop imagining the media is some non-partisan arm of reason. Stop imagining politicians have even the slightest desire to ‘unite’ us for any reason other than their own benefit. That is just as naive as my daydreaming of a diabolically mature Trump concession.
We’re not children and the media and politicians aren’t our parents.
It is entirely and wholly up to *US* to unite. Nothing about my minarchist-leaning ways has ever, EVER, once kept me from enjoying iced tea or baked goods with anyone else. Sportsball or garbage TV. Avengers or 80s music.
Grab a lawn chair, if the weather permits, and setup an adult iced tea and lemonade stand on your curb. You don’t need to fly a flag. There are plenty of other hours left to aggravate yourself about politics.
The elderly neighbor who suffered a stroke during the pandemic? Did you ever offer to grab them groceries they may have forgotten. The neighborhood cats need pets. The kids need to hear your laughter.
Your Mom’s old pumpkin bread recipe — it’s time you share it. However that lady made me pound cake that also used Sprite as one of the ingredients. Bring that absurdly delectable stuff over.
People flying a pride flag? 2A stickers? A small percentage or sub-percentage of these people are actually hinging on asshole levels of existence. They may be worlds apart in politics and upbringing but you’re amazingly similar. I’ve sometimes used the analogy of great apes vs humans — the DNA only leaves a percent or two of argument.
I live in evangelical country and I assure my liberal to leftist California friends they’re entirely buying into a false media narrative if they think there is a proselytizing prick at every corner who doesn’t want some marginalized group to exist.
When I’m traveling and people make ‘Florida Man’ jokes or call Trump supporters Nazis, I often wonder where I can find these people. According to all the maps, twenty minutes in any direction and my brown middle eastern ass should be in danger. Nope, doesn’t happen. (Nor to my father with his hilariously thick accent.)
Consider that all tears and fears, especially the last two elections, are entirely because we treat politicians and POTUS as somehow prophetic. They represent entirely too much in your mind share while, in absolute reality, local politics and daily interactions define significantly more of your life.
Sure there are vegan activists, actual socialists, actual white supremacists, and everything in between. There are bonkers anti-vegan activists too BTW, that was news to me recently and hilariously.
In twelve-step programs there is step 9 which states:
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
I’d say don’t skip ahead, all the Gods knows a lot of people I know could use The Twelve Steps irregardless of any overt addiction, but make an exception today and make amends with those people who you have pre-judged, judged as groups, applied unnecessary labels to, ..
Be patient. Four years ago 50% of the population was hurting and an amazing lack of patience and ‘Liberal Tears’ jokes didn’t help. The excuse then? They deserve it because they supported Obama’s demagoguery.
And here we go again ..
Let people have their hope and happiness or their anger but don’t define them by it. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity.
We do need to be united as individuals. Individuals are the biggest minority group the saying goes — and it’s not cliche.
Forget what you think you know about ‘that State over there’ or people who listen to MSNBC or Fox News. Forget what you think you know about the person with the pride flag or the 2A sticker.
You really really don’t know and if you are patient and they’re still a complete jack wagon. Now you know. About them. And no one else. Don’t be afraid, the bogey man only comes after you if you steal his car and kill his dog.
Politicians can only tell you who they want your neighbor to be to you — but not who your neighbor really is.
Politicians can’t unite us. They won’t unite us.
It’s up to us ..