I had a brief conversation with someone earlier today about presidential candidates. Now, when I say brief, I mean for me it was brief because as soon as I realized the obvious I quickly ended the discussion.
Now let me preface this by saying, this person’s presidential preference is irrelevant. It was just he represented all that was wrong with the process as it now stands. First and foremost, this individual had some sort of deep seated hatred toward the other party, or at least it appeared that way. He was going to check mark all the boxes of his party’s column on some sort of principle and he was proud of it.
It truly makes no sense to me how a population or person can cheer on a political party like it’s their favorite sports team and spew venom toward anything else. There is no reciprocation of loyalty to you. It’s not like when I root for my New York Giants in the super bowl, the gratification is totally different. There is no fan appreciation day, no discount on merchandise, no ticker tape parade, no staying late to sign autographs. They don’t give a shit about you for the most part. With the massive amount of lobbying and campaigning done in D.C., their true agendas are often exposed when you follow the money.
I mean sure they have these grand spectacles during election nights and conventions, but do you really think they are doing that for you? No, most of these media conglomerates hype it all up and build as much party line division as possible, all the while convincing you that you must fit in there somewhere. The show is there for that candidate’s handlers nothing more. You have to be red or blue, liberal or conservative. Does anyone ever really stop and ask why both parties and their respective media campaigns seek to dismantle each other?
When it all comes down to it, it’s about control really. It’s said that people in power tend to want to remain in power. When you are in power you can create a label, and when you have a label, you can consolidate your power around that label. The label creates a sense of unity and anything outside that label must be hunted down and destroyed. Many will come, just to be labeled as something.
During the course of this conversation I tried to explain how each party can be blamed for numerous failures and wars. He said “Yeah, but…”. It’s like he wasn’t even listening, he knows he can’t defend his party, he just does it to tell his neighbors “TOLD YA SO!”. This is what the media has created, a person who sees only what MSNBC/FOX/CNN tells them and not a rational human being capable of separating the party propaganda from historical fact. We have a society of people who know very little about our political process yet hopelessly believe “their people” are the best for the job without ever considering all options. Do you truly believe your party has all the answers? Because, if so, then I think we’ve found our solution: Screw the Republic! Let’s just go back to having a monarchy, oligarchy, or a totalitarian government. Since that is the way most of these political party zealots see things.
It becomes painfully obvious that when talking to these “party people”, their personal ideals usually don’t match up anywhere near the party lines, nor the candidate for whom they support, which continues to beg the question: why do they stick around the party house like a domestic violence victim?
In trying to impart wisdom onto this person, I quickly found myself tuning out. Here he was trying to prove a point about the “other” party. It didn’t make any difference whether the point was true or not, all he knew was he believed it. Even though I was confusing him with my logic that made him discount his own points, he still held firm. I just didn’t understand where this zealous behavior came from. I must have had a dumb look on my face as I sat there listening. Because as he spoke each carefully laid out talking point that he didn’t even understand, nor fully believe in. It became clear that I was wasting my time.
I have a great quote from our nation’s first president that has been going through my head all day. Please read it and take it to heart. Think about it next time you decide to slam the opposite side of the aisle. Just remember, they all sit in the same room- a room in which they don’t want you in.
“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.” — George Washington, September 19, 1796