All of this started as an off-beat, short conversation with a friend on Skype. We were commenting back and forth about politics in general — and came to the rather depression thought that all politics of today was essentially fear-driven and/or based on negative stereotyping – particularly in the Talk Radio environment. Originally, I was going to explore that perception a little deeper – and wound up not being all that thrilled about the concept – and somewhat depressed about what I had considered.
Politics isn’t my world. Most likely, if you went through my meager Friends’ List on Facebook, you would find the large majority of them to be far more serious about the topic of politics than I. I’ve just never found the topic to be anything more than a cursory distraction…and with far less value than watching the paint dry on the walls.
But that’s not completely true of my life. There was a time – in my thirties – where I was drawn into the political realm on a daily basis. I worked in a Tape Library, where the work was repetitive. To help pass the time, I listened to Talk Radio. It was easy to get the AM dial in the area of the building I was in, and portable mp3 players had not come into their own at that time. Cassette players were something I didn’t enjoy lugging around – so it was radio. In the mornings I listened to Mark Davis – a local, conservative radio host. In the afternoons, it was the Rush Limbaugh show, followed by Sean Hannity. From 8am until 4pm — every Monday through Friday.
Thinking back, each had their own particular pet causes, but there was a lot of duplicate statements made. The Clintons were out to control America. Jesse Jackson hates white people. Christians are being oppressed across the country. “We (referring to their listening audiences) need to gird our loins for the coming battle! We need to fight the Clintons before they turn this country into a communist state! The Constitution provides for us to over-throw our oppressive government!” Strange, isn’t it? None of those things that were stated came to pass. “Because we stood up and fought our enemies toe to toe.” And yet these same slogans of fear are thrown against President Obama as he works through his second term.
Oddly enough, when “their man” was President in the shape of George W. Bush – they didn’t have anything positive to say on how the President was handling things. Instead, they changed their focus to berating, belittling, and be-deviling members of the Democrat that were both in office and not in office (a continued attack on the Clintons).
But that’s the Republicans. The Democrat pundits do this as well. When President Bush served his two terms, they railed on his foreign policies, the involvement of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. “He’s going to destroy this country! He’s a shill for the corporate oil companies! He could care less about the low income folks in America.” More politics of fear.
Looking back – I probably wasn’t a whole lot of fun to be around. I saw these points of fear – and started finding armor and weapons. There was no way anyone was going to take my America away from me and give it to the corporate interests. There was no way I was going to let someone rip up the Constitution and turn this country into a communist-bloc Nation. I bought into the fear. I championed the cause. And the negativity with all of that ate away at the fabric of my soul.
I hated my job. I didn’t like being around people who couldn’t get the politics up front in their lives. And thinking back to things – my life was one endless stream of bitching and moaning about how the process didn’t represent me. How I was oppressed as a voter.
I honestly don’t know what changed in my Life. Perhaps it was a change in my Spiritual Beliefs towards a deeper approach to being a part of my environment – rather than reacting to minor things within it. Maybe. Of course that could just as easily be my own personal, internal rationalization as well. I know that I am not completely sure what got me to sit Talk Radio (specifically) and politics (in general) outside the doorway of my Life. Somehow, I got there. And I am thankful to the Gods that I am there.
I see Life very differently now. I don’t worry about faux threats over what this one or two individuals are going to change or not. I’ve started to recognize that many of the “threatening” actions wouldn’t be able to make it through the government without certain votes that are certainly not going to be there. I hear the talk from other people about how they need to do this or that to avoid being controlled by President Obama or Hillary Clinton (just two of MANY examples)…and I chuckle a little. They are reacting to something that was said by some radio personality – parroting what they hear…and handing control over to them, by not looking into the issues themselves.
Now, before someone goes jumping down my throat, claiming that I am saying I am more enlightened than the folks I am pointing out….I’m just as susceptible to following a Cause for the wrong reasons as well. Last time I checked…I’m still a human being with emotions. Perhaps I am more aware than some of these other folks are? Sure, I guess. I can only speak for my own personal point of view – and the only real comparison I have, is where I was back ten to fifteen years ago. Comparing myself to anyone other than myself…personally, that makes no sense.
Essentially, politics comes down to a take-it or leave-it game…I simply decided to leave-it….