My Political Post for the Year

I avoid talking about politics too much because it always ends up making my soul sick. I don’t mind discussing the issues; I don’t mind discussing possible changes; I do mind discussing the shocking and many times atrocious world of politicians. I am extremely grateful for public servants who earnestly do their best and use their best judgment to better the lives of the citizens in their respective realms. Unfortunately, I don’t trust many politicians to have this as their priority. Time and experience has advised otherwise (at least on the national scale).

However, America’s current situation is deeply disturbing to me. And I really didn’t want to talk about it. Or about him. You know of whom I speak.

First of all, let me tell you: I am not affiliated with any political party. There are views I agree with in both parties and other views that both parties hold which I find unbalanced. I generally try to avoid political talk and do my research privately and then vote for whomever I feel has the best interests at heart.

But as an American who cares about what happens to my country, I cannot stand idly by while we repeatedly vote for Chaos. And Chaos is what I’m going to call him because I don’t want to speak his name.

This because I am sick of the attention he’s getting, and I hate that I’m giving it to him along with the rest of America.

I know a few (very few) people who actually support Chaos. The biggest reason I’ve heard for this support is “At least he ‘tells it like it is’,” or “he’s not afraid to speak his mind and get stuff done,” and even sometimes “he’s a good business man, I think he could clean some things up.”

All I have to say is…are you actually listening?

For as much as I avoid these things, they’ve been pretty unavoidable this time around, and I’m not seeing one consistent thing coming out of Chaos’s mouth. What I have seen is pettiness, ignorance, racism, and absolutely unacceptable bullying.

Is this what represents America? I know we struggle with all of these things as a culture, but even in my lifetime I’ve seen so much progress made. Are the people voting for Chaos genuinely against this progress? If so, why? Do they honestly think a life of exclusivism is more fulfilling and productive? More importantly, do they honestly think that America can continue being a world influence if we become more closed-off and vicious?

Do Americans not realize there are countries out there that despise us, and are looking for any weakness or excuse to take us down? Do they not realize that even among our allies are countries that are more frenemies than friends?

This is what I fear. Chaos is given power, and the things that truly make America great – the things we were founded upon: freedom of speech and freedom of religion, for example – begin to crumble within. Then all the political powers that’ve been lurking in the shadows waiting for America to come to its knees will rise up and deliver to us what they feel is a just punishment.

If you think my view is extreme, let me back it up with witness from countless conversations I’ve had with foreigners (from first world countries, most of whom are on good terms with the US) during my travels that express how disgusted they are by American culture. And by observation and even some studies, I totally get what they are talking about.

America has a social disease. It’s an extremely complicated disease, the origin of which is almost impossible to pin down, and the solution even harder. It’s like a mental illness – hard to say what is happening because everyone experiences it differently. But nonetheless, it’s a problem.

However, we can fight a social disease. If Americans can make a commitment to themselves to educate themselves and expand their personal horizons, we will make leaps forward. And it doesn’t even have to be all of us (though that would be fantastic beyond imagination). Every individual makes a difference.

A much harder fight would be to combat the shrinking freedoms and growing oppression that will always happen when Chaos reigns. This is an eternal, true principle. You let someone into power that regularly threatens and decimates their opposition, even among their friends, and your freedom will disappear. (Hitler reference here. Or President Snow of the Hunger Games trilogy. Yes, I went there.)

Do we have better candidates? Yes. Which is the best? I’ll let you decide for yourself. Personally, I think they are pretty much all better, though at this point I’m planning on voting for who I think can do the least damage in four years. Which is a pretty freaking depressing outlook, honestly, and I hope it gets better by November.

Well, that’s about all the political commentary I can talk about for one evening. I’ve thought about pasting a bunch of links to all the things I’ve read and watched that make me feel as nervous as I feel about the looming Chaos, but you’ve probably all seen them. I’ll close with this video that I really appreciate from Obama. (Which is worthwhile regardless of how you feel about Obama.)

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