I think I’ve noticed a difference in my attitude toward politics with my reaction to people acting all excited about Hillary Clinton. Before, I would have mocked them and how they say they’re advancing feminism by propping up a woman we never would have heard of if not for the man she married. Now, I just want to hug them and tell them it will be okay. And they’ll sob into my shoulder saying, “No, really. I’m excited for Hillary.” And I’ll say, “I know you are. Just let it out.”
Because it is all rather sad. In 2008, Democrats decided Hillary was too boring and went with the shiny new object of Barack Obama. The then-predicted progressive utopia ended up being a hard slog of constantly sticking up for an inept politician who was in over his head in pretty much everything. Now the left doesn’t even imagine a bright future anymore and is just desperately trying to cling to power (“It doesn’t matter if we fail at everything; demographics will save us!”). Thus enters Hillary Clinton, now seven year more stale, and those who were bored by her years ago are now acting super-duper excited about her presidency. Bless their hearts.
It’s quite a bit different for Republicans. We have a big field of younger, newer candidates — a few with actual accomplishments to tout. There’s a lot for the right to get excited about.
Let’s not fall for it.
Come on, we’ve been through this plenty of times. One side acts all excited for their guy. The other side acts all excited for the other guy — look at how many Republicans acted like they liked McCain and Romney in the heat of the moment. Then the depressing reality hits us until we’re ready to pretend to get all excited for our guy in the next big partisan battle.
But this is insane. Because what do we end up with no matter whom we elect? A politician. We’re not choosing which vacation spot to go to. We’re not choosing what car to own. We’re not even choosing pizza toppings. We’re choosing which near-sociopath we want to wield an absurd amount of power over the country. You know politicians. Every one of them lies and manipulates you — every one. Every one of them conceals their true viewpoints and adjusts what they say they believe based on whether it’s the primary or the general. And we just put up with this nonsense — act like it’s normal. All we do is seek the better politician — which just means the one less obvious at lying to us and manipulating us. Which is the creepier one, in a way.
Basically, we have a situation where everyone is forced to ingest a poison. But, we get to vote on what poison that is. Some of the poisons could possibly kill us, while others may only cause severe nausea and vomiting. Let’s say you find a poison you’re pretty sure will only make you sick. Do you then get all excited, throw a big party, and tell everyone, “Let’s guzzle lots of this! It will be great! It tastes like burning!”
No, that’s idiotic. Yet it’s what people do every presidential year. We get to pick which manipulative, duplicitous bastard gets to wield power, and we act like it’s some sports game where we’re supposed to cheer our side. But it’s nowhere near as innocuous as a ball being moved back and forth on a field. We may prefer one outcome, but let’s not act like it’s something to get excited about. Let’s finally keep things in perspective.
Everyone talks about hating how partisan things have gotten, and a much easier solution than foolishly learning to like and trust politicians on the other side more is that we all strive to hate all politicians more equally. And we all have to cut the cheering nonsense to the point that someone who starts getting all excited about a politician is looked at the same way as someone who would stand up in a hospital waiting room and yell, “Yay! Colonoscopy!” Because we don’t want to all end up like those sad, miserable people pretending to be enthusiastic for Hillary (“She’s a great poison, really! Finally aged! Did I mention she’s a woman? That’s different. I can’t stop crying!”).
So let’s treat the 2016 election like the dour, annoying thing it is. And if our preferred poison wins, let’s just drink it with no mirth. If we stop acting like we love the stuff, maybe in the future people will at least learn to water it down more.