Life sometimes gets wild, wooly, and crazy. When it happens, it can feel a lot like a million paper-cuts happening over and over again before the bandaids arrive. Or at least that was the description that my High School English teacher once told me during my Junior year. I like the descriptive, but it really does not seem to fit – at least not lately.
Over the course of the last six months, I have had to deal with the sudden passing of my father – just a short while after the passing of my mother. That was enough to set my world into a small tilt-a-whirl mode. But to be honest, it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t deal with. Added to that, was the craziness of the politics and news of the day.
I’m not going to go into too much detail of those events, because thats not where I am headed with this. But essentially, I watched as the media helped to document the major split within the politics of the United States. Right-wing versus Left-wing. Republican versus Democrat. Conservative versus Liberal. Whatever descriptive you want to give it. However, the media plays this up as if its the ultimate and primary aspect of what defines America. I would submit that this is utter bullshit, designed to drive ratings on “news” channels that rarely report anything resembling the news. After all, sensationalism sells. Or as is put more scrupulously by Don Henley:
We can do the Innuendo
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done
We haven’t told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry
–Don Henley, “Dirty Laundry”
My experience of dealing with everyday people, that are not so consumed with defining people by their politics, is that they are more interested in who you are and how they can help (if needed). However, the sad thing is that in the realm of the news, the people who shout the loudest get heard the most. That’s why people like Rush Limbaugh, Randi Rhodes, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, and Alex Jones can spout the outrageous comments that they make. They have radio and television to help pump up the volume for their statements. The more outrageous things that they say, the more airtime it gets with the media. Just look at Donald Trump, as another example. Currently leading the Republican nomination polls, I’m not sure that anyone could seriously consider him a viable candidate for the Presidency. And yet, his outrageous statements are like red meat to the more rabid elements of the Conservative political party.
And seriously, why not? It does not take a lot to connect the points. After eight years of President Obama, most right-wing Conservatives are wanting to shake up the so-called “status quo”. Their current leadership has failed to thwart the “Muslim in Chief” (what a stupid descriptive too) in any major manner. Thus, they are no disillusioned with their leadership and want something new, different, and far more radical. This is why Ted Cruz got to where he is. But are the people that are responding to Trump and Cruz the majority of the Republican base? I doubt it.
In a discussion thread on Facebook, I noted that neither the Republican or Democratic nomination processes are really serious at this point. I only wonder how long it will be before both parties get serious. After the first debate? Maybe. After the second debate? More than likely. Until then, we are really working off of the point of entertainment. Who is going to say something outrageous? How is everyone else going to respond to it? How many rating points can the network get for the dead squirrel on Trump’s head? Yeah. Wake me when things actually get serious….
…and as a final thought, what does this say about us here in America? How shallow do we have to be to allow stuff like this to continue to lead the headlines? After all, as long as we keep clicking on the links to the websites, tuning into the TV channels – they will continue to provide us with our dirty laundry. Yeah. Kick us when we’re up. Kick us when we’re down. Kick us all around…