Of Politics & Division

The United States is in the preliminary process of electing a new president.  The great debacle otherwise known as…

The Lesser of Two Evils: 

A Game Where We Pick A Winner and Everyone Loses!


That sounds like pessimism, and I am sure there are a whole slew of people pipping up to give me all their reasons why their candidate isn’t all that bad, but the reality is – in my humble opinion – that the two party system in America is a system built to breed division.

If you look at all the major debates in American politics, they can all be divided down party lines:

  1. Abortion
  2. The Death Penalty
  3. Marriage Equality
  4. Immigration
  5. Religion in Schools
  6. Gun Control

The list could go on and on, but just looking at it you could assume where a “Democrat” and a “Republican” fall in those debates.  Why?  Because that is what our politics do, they force us into a black and white world where a grey answer – most often the most reasonable – is not possible.

The question we have to ask ourselves is this:  

Is it political beliefs that disunite us, or the core of our political system?


I look at politicians and I see something repugnant.  Even the best of them are liars and to deny this would be to misunderstand their very natures.  They are pursuing a job that pays nearly 8 times the median income, and should they obtain it, they are paid 4 times the median income for life.

Then they stand on a pulpit and speak about the need for jobs and the desire to raise the minimum wage.

Assuming that the ‘haves’ really care about equality and protecting the ‘have nots’ is dangerous thinking, and I refuse to be disillusioned. You don’t have to look hard to find dirt on any political candidate.  They are all people who have lied, flip flopped, backstabbed and weaseled their way toward the top.  That is the very essence of politics.  Do we ever choose a candidate that we really love?  That we feel 100% behind?  No.  We choose the candidate that we more than 51% like.  More often than not, we choose the one that aligns with our color and chosen party animal…

Jackasses and Elephants.

That pretty much defines America.

I feel like the very nature of the system is why our division and disunity exists.  We are divided in two, forced to bicker, and so very little ever gets changed.  I know that throughout the world every form of politics has it’s faults, and America is better than many while still worse than others, but it makes me sick seeing how divided the country is over such petty things.

Are we really so far apart?  Or are we made to be that way?  Are the people in Texas and the people in California really so different?  Or are we made to believe that?  Do we fear and hate and lash out at each other from first hand experience?  Or do we do so because we’ve been made to believe things we don’t understand or attempt to fully comprehend?

Take any two people and put them on opposite sides of a line.  Then bring a whole group of other people over and tell them to choose one.  Do you think the gathered people will be more or less united at the end of that exercise?

Until American citizens start looking around and seeing the cage they have built for themselves by dividing their numbers along two party lines that ultimately mean less than nothing, progress toward true unity will forever be retarded.

The only question is… how do we erase the line?


 

I wish I had the answer to that question.  I wish I could tell you how to fix politics… but hell, if I had that kind of answer I would be the one with a six figure salary.  Probably even seven… or eight.  Who the hell knows what they would pay me just to shut up.

What I do know is that people have way too many petty reasons to divide themselves up and close themselves off from other human beings.  Until we see that for what it is we will never achieve our full potential.

For me, I live in Japan now and may never go back home.  The blessing of being a foreigner with no real rights or say in anything is that I don’t have to invest in politics.

Still, I must say that I’ve always felt politics is a game played by men and women who desire to be in control of the chessboard.  They aren’t “one of us.”  They want you to believe that, and their goal is always to make sure you understand that they can “sympathise” with your situation, but no one making 400k a year can say they truly understand what a college student surviving on ramen and racking up a lifetime of debt feels like when they walk out of their University with a degree that is worth less than the paper the president uses to wipe his ass.  You really feel bad for those kids, Mr. President?  Why don’t you pay off their debts with the exorbitant salaries we pay our politicians, force you and your brethren to live at the median, then you can tell me you ‘understand’ the people.

Until then, you are nothing more than another condescending rich man who is attempting to insult my intelligence and think I am going to thank you for it.

Think again.

12 thoughts on “Of Politics & Division

  1. Unfortunately, your words ring all too true. These Divided States of America have locked themselves into a system that is driven to extremes by the (believed) self-interest of many rather than the somewhat altruistic interest to build a better society for all. Until this system is changed into a parliamentary democracy, or some other form of government where large groups are not disenfranchised, but, rather, represented without rancor, there is no hope for a solution. The true power of a country lies in its people, who, united, can achieve amazing feats, not in the plutocracy that is controlling the country at this time.

    Of course, to achieve change would require a significant amendment to the Constitution, that holy writ, which is tantamount to heresy in this day and age. Oh Canada is looking ever lovelier…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said. As I read your post, I couldn’t help but think about House of Cards. At least in the US there are two major parties. Here in India, we have more parties than the voters. The division is multiplied by caste, creed, language and dialect. But don’t we have to choose the lesser of two evils to be safe?

    My humble opinion, this line cannot be erased. There are two many powerful stakeholders. And can a society work without this division? I am not sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 100% agreed. Very well written! I think what resonated most with me was this one “Are the people in Texas and the people in California really so different? Or are we made to believe that?” I intentionally avoid expressing my political beliefs both on here and in real life for, in addition to avoiding mentioning where I’m from and where all I’ve lived, for this very reason. I’ve found that as soon as I express a stance on even one issue, or list even one super liberal or super conservative place I’ve lived, I’m met with instant judgment. Not necessarily “you’re a bad person” judgment, but “I’m going to shove you into a box and assume all these other things about you” judgment. I hate hearing things like “Oh WOW! That must have been QUITE a culture shock going from XYZ liberal place to ABC conservative place.” And I always smile and hold my tongue, but what I really want to say is “no actually, every city and every country has nice people and bigots and slimy politicians and awesome people and assholes.”

    Also, I wholeheartedly agree about the presidential candidates. My thought is that the man or woman who would actually make the best leader is the least likely to be drawn to that line of work, while the ones who are attracted to politics are a self-selected group of sub-optimal choices.

    Thank you, as always, for your very thoughtful opinion post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, this is some brutal reality you’re serving here. Brilliant critical writing that more ‘Mericans should be forced to read (and think about). I, too, wish that people would look at their neighbors and see the things they have in common rather than the things they don’t – but as you know well yourself, people dig their heels in about an issue or two and everything else goes out the window. Fix that, won’t you? You’re good at fixing stuff. Like Anakin, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was with you until that last line. Now I am plotting your death.

      It really is all in what you choose to focus on: the differences and your stance, or the similarities and common ground.

      Meh, people like having those lines though. It keeps you from having to consider and absorb too much. You can focus in on the little bit in front of you instead of having to really think about the whole wide world.

      Like

  5. Pingback: Of the Divided States of America & Redux | Olive These Words

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