Preface: I feel like a preface here is important because this is a topic that gets people real on edge. I am in no means particularly educated on political matters, I could not tell you who the mayor of Columbus is; nor do I understand the intricacies of policy that either president brings to the table. I believe that focusing on local and state government is often something that is overlooked as people seem to get what I like to call “D.C. Fever” caring only about how blue or red the president/ congress seem to be without paying attention to legislation being passed that directly affects them. With that being said lets get into the meat of this thing.
Preface #2: I am expecting this to be one of my longest blogs, because of that I want to give everyone an idea of what Ill be covering so they can jump ship now if they want. My problems with voting tend to specifically lie within the presidential campaign. The money and time spent on it, the lack of change that comes with it and where I think we could focus this time and energy. As well as a little look into how my views lean not to change anyone’s opinion but because I believe if you don’t stand for something you’re at risk to fall for anything.
The first problem I have is people being so gung-ho about certain presidential candidates when I feel as though the Presidency is not nearly as effective as we programmed to think it is. We basically are electing a puppet with a thinly veiled smile who’s strings are pulled by large corporations and whose movement is restricted by the conformity to line up with one of our two “wonderful” parties. I do not know about other people but I am not willing to conform on my beliefs to be accepted in anyway. I am more than willing to change my beliefs as I learn more about a subject… but talk less and smile more?? Not for me.
The other problem with our “wonderful” two party system is that people have lost their motivation to become educated on the issues our country is facing. Why spend the short amount of free time you have learning about stuff that seems to give you anxiety anyway. It is much easier to just turn on Fox or CNN *throw up your hands* and say “well I guess I agree with you now” Being apart of the “right” or the “left” allows people to feel apart of something bigger than themselves.
I have no problem with people finding something bigger than themselves, in fact, I encourage it, but you have to be willing to both support the group as well as step back and make sure you still believe in what the group is doing. This also creates a division in our country and the people who inhabit it. We tend to become bitter or resentful rather than understanding and empathetic with those who we disagree.
Rather than being a vile person and hateful towards people become willing to talk and more importantly listen to others. I will never judge someone on their political beliefs until I understand what brought them to those beliefs. I have so many ingrained beliefs that were with me as a child that I now realize our false, in no way am virtuous enough to judge others on theirs. As Rene Descartes once said in his “Meditations on First Philosphy” (unreal read completely changed the way i look at life) ” Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once.” Do not trust your sense or what you grew up believing to be “true” unless you are willing to take a step back and reassess with an open mind; what is important is not always finding that “truth” but just being willing to look at it through a different lens. That shows maturity on your part.
What happens when “we the people” divide and turn on each other rather than turn on those spoon feeding us crap we lose power. The 2016 election is estimated to have cost 6.4 billion dollars for campaigns, 2.4 of that directly related to the presidential campaigns and the rest for congressional seats. That is not even counting the insane amount of hours put in by volunteers canvassing for these candidates for free. Were lucky then to get 2 years of “hard work” before the campaign trail starts all over again. My thought is why not direct these funds and hours of hard work to help causes that are most important to you. Spending money to educate people not to change their minds. Spending time to listen to others rather than to listen to yourself spew out what you heard on twitter or tv the day before.
I don’t know about you guys but I am tired of being virtue signaled because I don’t use “my right as an american citizen” when it seems to me that whenever serious change is possible or a controversial issue comes to light it is handled by people I could not vote on. For example, de-funding the police.I understand this seems extremely radical to people who do not understand the reasons why it is being discussed and the possibilities for a new version of law enforcement that is set up not only to say “serve and protect” but change the systems around it so those words ring true. Truly I do not know how it would be done. My goal is not to tell you we should defund the police, my goal is to point out the irony of a non-elected committee getting to decided what citizens are allowed to vote on with no threat of repercussions. Or the bullshit that our government allows pharmaceutical companies to get away with because their hands are elbow deep in their pockets. (I understand roi and how companies work but do not tell me this is ethical because it is “the way it is” ) You are basically asking people to jump from a burning building to a sinking ship. Go in to debt or risk death, tough question, maybe we should get rid of it.
Finally not because I believe anyone cares but because I think it is important to be honest about your thoughts and passions. I hate to consider myself right or left but because people need definitions Ill try to sum up my final thoughts and my reasons for it.
I grew up in an upper-middle class home, had two loving parents and had more opportunities than I could ever be thankful for; a town that seemed to be about 90% white Christians. Life was good in the bubble, maybe not good but it was comfortable. I grew up leaning “more right than left”, I always wanted to be a successful business owner and my own confirmation bias led me to believing that successful business men were conservative and focused on economics and creating. Whether this is right or wrong does not matter because it is what it is.
After losing my father i had a paradigm shift, the house that I built my life on had now lost its foundation, I asked why? How could I not know someone so close who seemed so happy and so successful could be so lost. You could now consider me “more left than right” my focus is on creating a world that accepts people for who they are, it does not matter if I do not agree with someone. If it makes them happy and hurts no one why should it affect me. My lens is no longer “wait do we have enough money to do this” and more ” we have to do this and we will figure out how” when I see our country is trillions of dollars in debt it is hard to for me to think financials are our first priorities anyway. Again whether this is right or wrong does not matter it is how I feel now and if my ideas and opinions change I hope to always be open to it and I think everyone else should be as well.
To wrap it up, I am not telling anyone to not vote, its actually the opposite of what I want to get across. Vote but do not think your vote absolves you of other problems in our country you do not want to help with, the same way you cannot be a shitty person and go to church to wipe off the shit on Sunday. Be willing to grow and listen to others, do your own research and create your own opinions, be a person people want to follow. Not a follower.
P.S. One thing I wanted to touch on but it did not seem to flow. My loss of faith in the establishment came greatly because of what happened to Bernie Sanders. I am not educated on his policies enough to say if I would have been willing to vote for him or not but he does seem to want change and that shook the establishment enough to basically stop the primary race in its track and get rid of this “problem” (Also I understand that much of his proposed change is performative, it looks better for him to write legislation that his base agrees with rather than actually work on getting it passed which is another problem I have but we can keep that for another blog.
Keep on keeping on;
Nick Best 2020 (this is for copyright purposes, I am not up for election this year)