Every political cycle, stuff seems to get more contentious between folks. And its really not just politics that does this – religion, sports, even statistical programs and analytics methods can bring out the worst in folks. However, I sincerely believe that its not really the subject matter that gets folks on edge, but rather the way they approach their subjects. But with our over-exposed media coverage – particularly here in America, where politics seems to be a hobby for some – it certainly seems like politics is the catalyst for everything.
Let’s face it, depending on your perspective, you either view America as a country that needs to get religion (Ted Cruz), become “great” again (Donald Trump), get civilized in its discourse concerning legislation (John Kasich), needs to continue some (but not all) of President Obama’s policies (Hillary Clinton), ditch every model of government and give everything away (or so it seems) (Bernie Sanders), or just needs a complete change to something new (any third party candidate). Or perhaps there’s some direction I’ve not mentioned for any of the above noted candidates or (seemingly invisible independent) third-parties. To be honest, none of that really matters one bit. Its all an over-generalized (on my part) perspective concerning various perspectives towards electing a figure-head position in a “representative” government, where the true manner of representation for the citizenry is flat-out ignored by that same citizenry. And much like Robert Conrad’s old battery commercials…everyone wears their political perspective on their shoulders, daring everyone to “knock it off”.
See, we’ve created a society that is more interested in getting offended than anything else. We wear our politics on our sleeves. We slam our beliefs under everyone else’s noses. We dare others to be offended over what we say, read, speak, and act upon. We seem to want to pick the fight. And this is especially common during political election cycles. We champion the President of the United States as being the “everyman” – the individual that we want to typify the everyday, average citizen of this country. Its not about electing a spokesperson. Its not about electing an individual that understands how to marshall legislation through the political waters of the Congress. Its not about finding a statesman (person?) who can find common ground with the political opposition in order to find legislative means to benefit the common citizen. No, what we want is a politician that will fight for our rights, trample the rights of those groups we could give two shits about, and tell the media to go fuck themselves while flashing a million-dollar smile. All while balancing a battery on his shoulder, just daring anyone to be “brave” enough to come knock it off. We want someone who is going to stand up and personify the manner in which we want to react to being offended.
Perhaps one day, we will come to our collective senses and realize that our government represents more than just our singular political, religious, sexual identity perspectives. That this country’s (and others’) greatest strength is that we stand together as a diverse group of people, embracing an ideal of freedom of individual choice. That we may choose differently…but we are united in the conceptual freedom of making our own choices. Maybe one day. In the meantime, I guess we will just have to continue looking for ways to be offended….