I think I am beginning to overdose on the political environment. It has done nothing but increase my heartburn and blood pressure. Well, I am guessing on the blood pressure based on the fact that on any given occasion while watching anything remotely political I can feel my heartbeat in my tailbone. This only makes me realize what kind of a pain this has actually become.
But alas, I’ll be sitting in front of the television tomorrow like most of my political junkie friends watching the debate between the Vice Presidential candidates going through my normal routine of loud yelling and obscene gestures, even though I know I shouldn’t. They can’t hear me, but I don’t care. All I usually accomplish with this behavior is scaring my dog Buddie into the other room where he stays until he hears the television being shut off. But somehow, I am reassured by this newfound ritual and take solace in the fact that I feel like I have voiced my opinion. Because honestly, what information do we really get from all of this analyzing and scrutinizing? Well, except for the aforementioned pain in the tailbone.
Since the last debate I have been wondering why I do this to myself, and my “self” answered. “It is your deep seated desire to see Dick Cheney rip John Edwards to shreds” is what my “self” said to me. Not because I dislike John Edwards, I actually thought him to be one of the better candidates in the primary. No, not because I dislike him, but because he’s not on my side. Every once in a while my “self” makes me stop and think about what I think. And what I’ve come to think is that we have had a couple hundred years or so to work this all out and still haven’t got a clue. Our very own political system (notice the deliberate avoidance of the use of the word government) forces us to take sides. The very process we use creates the divisions between us. I don’t think that is what our forefathers had in mind.
So here is my suggestion. Turn off the television after the debate, don’t visit any political websites and don’t listen to the analysts. If you really want to watch television, watch Whose Line Is It Anyway or TV Land, laugh and enjoy your evening. Make up your own mind without the help of the media moguls. Because no matter how much we investigate, no matter how much we read and prepare ourselves to make the best decision we can make, there are still those in our country who choose the candidate to vote for based on appearance, or the way he walks, or looks, or enters a porta-potty at a beer garden on Friday night.
So when it’s all said and done, if we stop letting the media dictate how and when we do our decision making, we will all be a little better off. And maybe, just maybe, my dog Buddie will actually stay in the same room with me while I’m watching the debates.
I can dream can’t I?