I describe myself these days as a “political atheist.” By this I mean I don’t believe in any political party.
Like you, I try to sort out what I believe about the moral and social issues that matter to me then vote for people who claim to believe in principles that (more or less) are in alignment with that.
Problem is, I don’t believe most politicians (of any party) truly give a rat’s ass about what you or I believe, want, or need. I just don’t. If the show were really about us (ordinary Americans) and not about power and greed (this refers both to the politicians who are busy preserving their gig and the ruling class who are busy preserving theirs), then things would be radically different.
All of the outrage over the lies spewing forth from High Office in 2018? I get it. I do. But let me pose a question.
Which do you find more disturbing: the lies that are so obvious a seventh grader can point them out, or the lies that are so carefully crafted and eloquently delivered that you’re applauding and wiping away a little tear as they reverberate in your ears?
They’re equally disgusting, yes? The clever lie is being delivered by a Statesman, likely one with a formidable academic background, and the obvious lie is being delivered by a delusional fool. At the end of the day, it’s the lie you believe that presents the greater danger, though both are a great offense.
Do you really imagine that “your party” and its leaders are the good guys and “the other party” and its leaders are the bad guys? You weren’t lied to about the Watergate break in? You weren’t lied to about what was really happening in the Viet Nam war?
Do you think your party’s leaders aren’t lying?
Do you believe what you read in history books is unvarnished truth? The whole truth?
What is CNN telling you? Or FOX news? You think there is no agenda, no pullers of strings, no money influencing “your” media while “the other guy’s” media is a pack of filthy lies?
Follow the money.
What do you or I know?
We know the story someone else is telling us.
By all means, fact check. By all means, call out bad behavior. Go ahead and be indignant.
But never forget that, within the framework of history, “your team” is as guilty as the other guy’s team. If we catalogue all the lies and crimes of our political leaders, neither party comes out looking saintly.
It’s the “lopsided indignity” that chafes me.
If you’re gonna hate one man’s misuse of power (and you should), you must hate the other man’s equally. Even if he’s better looking and more intelligent. Even if he accomplished things you thought were good. If you’re going to despise one man’s womanizing (and you should), then you must despise the other’s with equal fervor. Even if your guy was the leader of a cause you believed in. If you’re gonna hate one man’s approval of torture, you must hate the other man’s approval of Napalm. Even if your guy said a bunch of neat stuff and wrote a lovely book. One man’s collusion is another man’s drowned mistress. Don’t idolize these people, don’t make of them anything more than they are.
Be an equal opportunity hater of injustice, lies, and misuse of power. That’s all I’m saying, people.
The endless self-righteous political talk (from both sides, from all sides) is incredibly tired and terribly lacking in context.
“I don’t wanna live in a world of darkness, I wanna live in a world of light. I don’t wanna live in a world that’s heartless, I wanna live in a world of sight.” – Steve Miller
Yes, that’s right. All the best wisdom has been summed up in pop music lyrics.