So, we’re back into Primary season here in Texas. Another mid-term election is around the corner. Most local channels, radio and television, are airing ad after ad for candidates who are running for political office. This person votes with the Democrats. That person doesn’t represent your conservative values. This candidate supports open borders. Blab, blah, blah. For me, most of this is just noise. I don’t vote in primaries, except to vote on law changes at the local, county, and state levels. I’m not a Republican, a Democrat or what have you. I’m an unaffiliated voter. I literally have no dog in the fight, so to speak. Predictably, I catch the Nine Hells from both my conservative and liberal friends. Here in the neighborhood, my house will be the only one that doesn’t have any political signs in the yard…and I live on a corner. ::shrug:: Politics just ain’t my thing. Wake me when the real elections get closer. Seriously. Hate me over that if you want to… I mean, everyone’s got a right to bitch. At least for now.
I look at the fervor around the primary season as the start of “labeling season.” Those people are “liberals” or “libtards” (such a childish term). Those other people are “conservatives,” “right-wing nutjobs,” or “racists.” Such labeling takes place on a daily basis, particularly on the internet, where anonymity rules the day. You can choose any alias of your choice; make whatever proclamation you wish. You can talk about how all of the Jews need to die (because they rule the world secretly) or state that liberal politicians in Washington DC come to the back-room of a DC pizza parlor to eat the corpses of small children to replenish their cells and stay young – so they can stay in power (seriously, this might make a good b-rated horror flick). You can wildly paint every conservative supporter of former Donald Trump as a racist.
The reality is that none of those statements are completely true. Except the DC pizza parlor one, which is categorically false on every level. But each statement has a touch of truth in it. Even the DC pizza parlor one. The pizza parlor mentioned in that one actually does exist, just no cannibalistic back room. However, throwing the statements around as being completely true for vast swaths of people…well, for me, its distasteful conjecture.
I’m a Druid. I like Justice, but I like it even better when its hand-in-hand with undisputable Truth. And undisputable Truth is something you don’t get in American politics…at least not anymore. Instead, politics has become the red-meat of the conservative and liberal mobs. Sadly, today’s cable news agencies no longer report the Truth…at least not without wild-eyed commentary attached to it. One almost must have a translator to wade through the hip-high wild-assed conjecture that passes for news reporting. CNN does it. Fox News does it. CNBC has been doing it far longer. Even National Public Radio does it.
So, what to do about all of it? Well, do the best you can to read between the lines. Me? Well, that’s what I try to do. But I’ve also learned to limit the dosage of news coverage that I am exposed to. I limit my news watching to thirty minutes in the morning, and thirty minutes in the evening. After that, I find other things to do. I’m enrolled in college courses for another degree. So I have that. I have studies in my Ovate Gwers. So I have that, too. I watch tv shows. Currently, I’m watching re-runs of JAG and Babylon 5. I catch up on movies that I didn’t see at the theater. I throw the tennis ball down the hall so the cats have something to chase. I listen to music. I work on my baseball database. I go for walks. I search for employment. I do housework, wash dishes, vacuum the floors. I take naps. I can find plenty of things to keep myself busy without sitting to fret and fume about the news.
Recently, I got asked who I think people should vote for in the Texas primaries for this year. Honestly? Whoever you want to. I count on people being able to do what they think is right and correct for themselves. Yeah, I know – that kind of thinking is what got President Trump elected. But that’s not really true. The typical apathy of the American citizen is what got President Trump elected. People not going to their local polling location to vote. That’s what gets people like President Trump elected by large vote margins. Even here, in deep-red Republican/Conservative Texas. I’m quite sure that President Trump’s electoral votes in Texas would never have been in jeopardy, even if every single non-conservative in Texas voted against him. But that’s not the point. If all of those people stepped up to a voting booth and voted, the fact that they did would show conservative Texas that future elections would not be foregone conclusions.
So, this is a Pagan blog. What does all this have to do with Paganism? Well, not much. But it’s a reminder that we cannot ignore the mundane world in favor of working with the Gods. Staying informed means something different to each individual. Like I’ve noted, I don’t spend hour after hour ingesting the news. For others, this is the way that they stay informed. Who’s right? Well, both perspectives are so. So are so many others I haven’t even mentioned. Each person gets to determine what is and what isn’t enough for their own individual consumption. You know when its too much for you. When you reach that point, step away. Get outside. Find a nice park or some woods to take a leisurely stroll through. Stop, listen to the wind as it whispers its sultry secrets through the branches and what leaves are still clinging to the branches. Take a night-time stroll through your neighborhood (should it be safe to do so). No headphones. Just listen. Hear the silent shimmer of the vehicles on the nearby highway. Listen to the sound of the nocturnal animals talking to one another. Look up at the moon, if the cloud cover is not too thick. See Her in all Her majesty. Let all of the media stuff fall to the side, for the moment. You can pick that stuff up again before you go back inside. Just feel. Let that be your reset button. Trust me, the news will still be there when you get back. All that political nonsense that makes you grind your teeth until your headache rises…its all going to still be there too. But remember this…all of this wonderous aspects of Nature that help you reset – its all still there too. Just waiting for you….