Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Dreaded Fourth Year

I hate politics. I always have. Well, since high school when I thought I wanted to be a lawyer and took a law and government class that was half a day for the entire year. I knew within a week that I hated it, but was stuck. Since then, I avoid politics like they're the plague. There are three things I don't like to discuss with people most of the time: politics, religion, and ebook prices. Very heated issues and I'm not one who likes to debate things.

So as I'm sure you can tell, every fourth year is torture for me. All the television, radio, and newspaper talk about are politics. Who's doing what wrong, what scandal from a decade ago someone was involved in, all that crap. Drives me bonkers.

There are two things that make me hate politics. First and foremost, you can't express an opinion without someone berating you and telling you you're wrong (it's an opinion. Opinions can't be wrong). And second, it seems the main strategy to get elected is to make yourself seem less bad than your opponent.

The first problem I can't change. The only way to avoid that is to refuse to discuss the issues and keep my opinions to myself. The second problem baffles me, though. I'm a lazy American, and I'm not the only one out there. With all the money spent on commercials and stuff, you'd think they'd want to use their 30 seconds to tell you what exactly they're going to do to make life better. I'm not going to go out and do research (please don't yell at me about it. I've heard it enough and I'm old enough to make my own decisions on the matter). It's their job to win me over, and blasting their opponent is not the way to do it.

I do vote, on occasion, when someone makes it easy for me to like them. That's what I want: Don't tell me why I shouldn't like the other guy. Tell me why I should like you. Is it really so hard?



  1. Politics can be very frustrating, to be sure. The biggest communication issue for me is that none of the politicians speak in plain English using common definitions of terms. It's like listening to a foreign language with it's own unfamiliar customs and idioms. Without a "normal person to politician" converter, most of what they say is Greek to all of us. Seems that's the way they like it to keep us all in a State of Confusion.

  2. It's even worse when you live in a swing state. We have a primary coming up in Ohio, and the phone calls have already started. And the TV commercials - ugh! My congressional district was just redrawn and we were facing a primary between two incumbents who are both fairly well-liked (shocking but true). One dropped out because he didn't want to get into an ugly, negative campaign - I was so glad when I read that! Finally some sense. Sadly it's all too rare.

  3. That's my biggest problem, too, Stacy. You're allowed to have your own opinion, as long as it coincides with theirs. Too many people are like that.

    That's pretty awesome, Jennette. And so rare.

  4. I must admit I find the whole political ramp up fascinating, if only because of the games and hypocritical fun that comes into play. A study in sociology. Like now, I'm watching the primary and debates on the Republican side and wondering how any of them expect to be respected after being so nasty to each other. Like you've said, they've wasted time blasting the other guy. No worries, in four years the Democrats will do it too. Madness.

  5. I'm Canadian, and for the most part, we don't do smear campaigns. Last election, one party tried it and ended up with the lowest number of votes they've received in years. I think it might be because "politeness" is almost institutionalized here, and it's very, very rude to criticize someone else publicly.

    Since I live near the border, however, and my husband is American, we watch a lot of US TV. I feel your pain. When I see those commercials, I want to hear about why that person is the one my husband should vote for. Just because your opponent did "thus-and-so" doesn't convince me that you're qualified for the job.


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