Wow! Election year certainly seems to get a whole lot of people fired up emotionally, doesn’t it? Every four years I go into this thinking, “This year it’ll be different, people are older, wiser, and no one I know is going to get emotionally caught up in this.” Yep. You guessed it. Every four years I am wrong.
I blame Facebook and social media in general and the news media in particular for the craziness that ensues from political campaigning. We had less access to people’s opinions when we had to drive to meet up with them and then see them face-to-face. We were more careful and measured in our responses, I think.
I’ve had a lot of time to think since I stepped back from social media following the second day of the Democratic National Convention. Perhaps I should state the first day because on the second day, the first thing I saw was Bill Clinton walking toward the microphone to thundering applause and I almost gagged so I turned to my best friend during these times…Netflix. Where I can truly choose to “opt out” of what I believe is the insanity all around me.
Am I the only one who remembers the damage Bill Clinton did to our country during his term as president? Why would so many people give that man applause just for being him? I know, I know, he wasn’t the only skirt chaser sitting in the big chair in the oval office, but his dalliance was certainly one of the most widely publicized. And even he and Hillary have (albeit in the distant past) admitted that NAFTA was a huge mistake, even if that were the only two things remembered, those two things alone will keep me from ever applauding him or shaking his hand or giving him anything more than a sneer of contempt. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement-in case you forgot or were wondering) was the beginning of the end of our way of life here in America and the beginning of all the financial problems we have faced in the 16 + years since it was signed into law.
And just in case the historical re-writers have been at it again…the free trade agreement was signed into law by Bill Clinton alone while Congress was adjourned for Christmas break. It was announced by the news media in Europe for three days before it was announced here in the US. On the day it broke the news here there was an outcry of shock and dismay around the country…then silence and it was only mentioned in muted tones and with none of the shock and horror of its first announcement. Why? Why would the anger be trounced immediately and the media hushed before Congress returned? Why was there no outcry from angered congressmen and women and returning representatives after Christmas break? Why did it suddenly take a back seat and become hushed?
I’ve been asking that question for over 16 years now..and still have no answer that makes any sense. So….as soon as Bill Clinton began walking toward the mic to applause, I hit my limit. I turned off the political news and have turned my back on nearly all of it. For a few days I remained on Facebook, watching friends and friends-of-friends lose their good sense and get really nasty with each other in their comments, and I felt myself wanting to block and unfriend an inordinate number of people over this whole election business. I think my blood pressure went up, I know I was angry all the time, even when I wasn’t thinking about it or looking at it, I walked around in a state of anger almost all day long. I went to bed tense and exhausted and heartsick. And it came to me that on November 9th this will all be decided and we will be back to being neighbors, family, friends, friends-of-friends and how will we feel then? Will we gloat if our candidate is chosen and despise those who “won” if our candidate loses? I suspect that will probably be the case far too often. I am opting out.
I no longer believe we have any say in the political process, I think it is all “fixed” before it ever even gets to the national conventions. I think our next president has already been chosen and that what we want doesn’t matter one iota. Thus, since I don’t believe Trump has the experience to serve as our president, and I believe Hillary is morally unfit to be our president, I have only three choices left. To not vote at all; to vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party, or to go with my first choice, Bernie Sanders by writing him in. At the moment, I’m leaning toward writing in my actual choice and by doing so thumbing my nose at the system that does not work for the working class in this nation.
With all the technology we have at our disposal our voting system is archaic at best and what is up with the electoral college? Or for that matter…the “super delegates”? The whole system seems to be set up to be deceptive and beyond our reach. So…I am seriously thinking about sending a message that if they give me two poor choices, I will still refuse to play their corrupt game and will, instead, write in the most honest of the politicians I saw who were interested in the position.
So…that’s it folks. Remember that we will have another election in 4 years and that this one isn’t worth family and friends, because if the world-as-we-know-it gets blown to bits we are going to need our family and friends to increase our chances of survival.
And on that cheery note….Namaste.