Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Post About Politics

Vote Unicorn! The best mystical creature for the job.
Have you ever noticed the second someone posts something slightly political on Facebook, suddenly the entirety of that person’s friends list is realizing their collective dream of being on a high school debate team? When I look through the comment threads, all I see is each subsequent participant trying to sound more intellectual than the last, but failing miserably due to a lack of basic grammatical skills, auto-correct errors, or their overuse of emoticons and “lol.”

I mean, is this what political conversations look like now?

Personally, I don’t possess a great deal of passion for politics. Outside of keeping tabs on the issues that immediately affect me (or checking the validity of that one elitist acquaintance we all have who likes to throw random factoids in your face to prove their superiority) I admit to not being very well-rounded in terms of political information. I realize that may be self-scarring, but I’d rather be honest than fake. And I feel like a lot of people can relate to me on this.

I am making legitimate efforts at educating myself on the issues and the stances of our candidates, but the task is proving itself to be pretty daunting. And terrifying. I keep second-guessing the neutrality of my news sources and the reliability of my peers. Granted, if they look like Gideon Yago I am more likely to believe in their credibility, but beyond the black-framed glasses-wearers of the news industry, who do you turn to?* And why does Lester Holt wear his glasses during the Nightly News, but not during the Today show? So many difficult questions without easy answers.

The road to enlightenment has been a little like walking through a haunted house, only the unexpected flashes of terror come from things like medically ignorant men who are resurrecting women’s issues we long believed were resolved, or presidential cameos in Jay-Z concert videos. It’s weird and scary and makes you instinctively jump back, afraid to see anymore.

And I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to admit to being uninformed if you’re making attempts at being informed. Maybe I’m over thinking it--that might be the main source of my political anxiety--but considering I don’t feel comfortable blindly following either party knowing my beliefs won’t easily conform for the sake of party alignment, it’s probably a positive that I’m worrying myself into awareness.

Unfortunately, I have no real resolution to this post. There’s no neat tie-in at the end; no epiphanous stroke of clarity that somehow makes navigation through political season any easier. But what I am saying is that if you’re like me, then we should take comfort in knowing we probably outnumber our elitist acquaintances. And at least we’re better off than Clint Eastwood, who seems to be easily troubled by empty chairs these days.

So I say we stand united and stop being ashamed of our browsing history because yes--I too, have googled “political facts.” At least we did it for the country's well-being.

Now Playing: "My Dear Country" by Norah Jones

*Completely joking, elitist acquaintances. Looking like Gideon Yago doesn’t automatically make you a credible news source. We all know it’s the Kurt Loder look-a-likes who know their shit.

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