Mark Twain

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Silly Season - A Rant!

I can't believe we are approaching the very early stages of another election season.  The "silly season" is what I call this time of year, but I won't bore you with all the reasons why I picked this label. Elections are a necessary function in a representative government, even if our particular process is flawed and frustrating.

In fact,
 this post is going to be
 "A RANT!!"  

Sorry, I don't rant here very often.  Actually my only other rant was October 2010 - same topic.  Guess two rants in 5 years isn't too bad.  But if you want to skip this post, I don't mind.  However, when a blogger warns that their post will be a RANT, I find it hard to turn away.  Like a car wreck ... I feel the need to slow down to see what happened, but I really don't want to see what happened, but I look anyway, but I wish I hadn't, but I would do it  ... and so on and so on.  Oh well.

You were warned!
Here I go.

OH . MY . DEAR . GOD!!

How I totally hate the circus our political election process has become.  Lost are things like civility, fact finding, balanced and fair exchange of ideas, comparison of issues,  respect for different positions, intelligent research, and polite debate.

All of the above have been replaced by insults, belligerent name calling, and slanted opinions that slip into outright lies about political figures and their positions.  Enormous sums of money are wasted on attack TV ads, hand outs, and campaign signs that end as litter on our roadways.  Really??  Does anyone make up their mind on who to vote for based on a card board sign with a name on it??  Let's not forget the invasive political robo phone calls that squeeze themselves into our lives between with other unsolicited calls.  I don't even understand how the huge TV spectacles of conventions promote anything useful beyond whipping up the electorate into a frenzy.  All that money and time wasted just to draw attention.

It is a nightmare to me.

On top of that, even when the election is over, we have become a nation of disrespectful, finger pointing citizens who seem to take joy in saying simply awful insulting things about our elected leaders.  It seems in the eyes of some of us, our current leaders can do absolutely NOTHING right.  If we don't agree with their political positions, then they must be wrong about EVERYTHING.

That particular national trait makes me nuts.

I am not a Democrat or Republican.  I proudly identify as an independent because I don't believe one political party has all the answers just as I don't believe any one person is all good or all bad.  All of us are shades of gray with some sterling moments tossed into the mix.  Sure, there are a rare few elected officials who get caught putting themselves above the law or in unethical situations.  But generally people enter public service with good intentions.  At least I like to think so.

Another frustration for me is social media.  Wow.  How entitled and free some people feel as they slam our leaders in the "Public Court Room of Facebook."  Some postings are so unbelievably ridiculous.  Comments generated are completely appalling!  All that poison get shared with thousands of people, usually bringing out the worst in us.  How can reasonable thinking people identify a sitting president as an "SOB, hateful, Evil, the worst president ever," just to name a few terrible labels.  Come on, folks!  These are completely unacceptable labels for a person who was elected to the office by us, the citizens.  You may not have voted for him or her, and you may not agree with the current leader's ideas, but "evil?"  Really?  And as for "the worst president ever," I doubt the general public knows enough presidential history to make an educated guess at who is the worst.   While I do recognize that some elected officials have been caught in discretions that are wrong or shameful, the vast majority of our elected officials are citizens just like us doing the best they can in impossible situations.  So Social Media folks - back the heck off - and use words that don't make you look ignorant.

I try hard to keep my own personal criticisms of the Presidents limited, as being President is probably the hardest job ever.  I don't have access to all the relevant facts on many decisions to qualify me as expert enough to take cheap shots at the person we have put in charge.  Staying on top of and coordinating all the details of national decisions is a full time job that most of us don't have the background or time for.  That is why our government has a full time job for doing just that ... it is called "President."  And if you don't think this job is difficult, just look at each retiring President as they leave office.  They age considerably doing what we elected them to do - that aging didn't happen because the job was easy.

And how about all the criticisms we send towards our elected Congress!  I will agree that they have become stalled along party lines and really aren't earning their salaries.  But how can we expect congress to come together and work for the common good if we, the people they represent, have become stalled and derisive, and don't feel committed to working for the common good either.  Sometimes I wonder if Congress is just a mirror image of us.

Depressing.

Maybe it has always been like this ... but to my eye, it seems to be getting worse with each year.    Maybe the curmudgeon in me is coming out.  I don't know.

But I do know this ... if we don't find a way to be civil and work together effectively during and after an election - then our country is mostly bluster - not substance.  And "bluster" cannot be the leader of the Free World - at least not for long.  It will be our Achilles heel as a nation.

I know I have painted a sad picture in very simplistic terms.  Not everyone behaves as badly as I have described.  Otherwise I would consider packing my bags and moving to Canada (Canada would let me in ... right, Delores??)   :-)  But the "badly behaving individuals" are the loudest.  They overshadow the quiet majority.

Ok,
I think I am done now.
Rant is over.
It didn't change anything, but 
I feel lighter!
Everyone needs to do that once in awhile.

If you stuck around to the very end, thank you.  Feel free to vent back, agree or disagree, etc.  This post was my personal opinion and I know opinions vary.  I would love to hear yours.

While you do that - I will be building my virtual hibernation hole until the "silly season" passes in late 2016!


8 comments:

  1. There's not much in your rant I disagree with! I knew we'd get along well. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and I forgot a few other words I meant to use ...

      Like "respect" for the office of President, where did that go? And "compromise" ... is it still a valid assumption that compromise is a good thing?

      Gosh, I thought I was done. I guess I still had a few small twitches left in me! LOL

      OK, now I am done. hahaha!

      Thanks, Michelle. I suspect that we are not alone in wanting better than we have when it comes to politics.

      Delete
  2. Amen.....
    Yes, you would be welcome in Canada but be warned that we endure the same stuff here. There is no escaping the "silly season" north of the 49th.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I find it an Embarrassing Season . . .
    I agree with what you have said . . .
    Where is
    Honor
    Civility
    Respect
    Where is, . . . I am an American . . .
    Where is . . . I will stand by you . . .
    Where is . . . brother, sister, friend . . .
    The current banter, abuse is not how we need to be treating one another.
    I am find it very Embarrassing . . .
    that the smear continues, the unkindness is prolific, friendliness is gone . . .
    There was a time when I could sit with friends and talk about differences . . . no more, such bitterness, division . . .
    I feel like I am in a rant as well, thanks for listening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have evolved from silly to embarrassing. You got that right.

      Delete
  4. I find it embarrassing to be an American sometimes, especially among my international friends. You said it all so well. It's such a circus it's practically impossible to wade through it all and make an informed decision as to who to vote for.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh dear. I'm afraid I' might be one of those silly people. For me it's all about having a habitable planet for my grandchildren's grandchildren, and I have to do everything possible to make that happen, which includes supporting the political candidates who will try to do that, and I am passionate about it. However, you are right about the general lack of civility, the name-calling and hateful posts on Facebook, which I don't "like". I try to avoid the "us vs. them" mentality, which is totally counterproductive. I think a lot of it is due to the media's interest in keeping everyone all worked up because it sells their product. At my weekly knitting group we have a mostly unspoken rule that we don't discuss religion or politics, and I'm OK with that. I also don't mind at all if you rant.
    Chris

    ReplyDelete

Yes, you do want to comment! I can see it in your face:-)