There was a time when I was really into politics. I knew the names, listened to the talk shows, watched the news and loved being in the loop. I’m proud to say I’ve been a caller on several radio shows including Michael Reagan. I’m conservative for the most part with a few pet issues. My career has made it possible for me to articulate my points from a unique stance.
Facebook was the beginning of the end of that experience for me. I realized one day that there is a common thread for anyone passionate about their political stance: anger and frustration. Whether driven by their religion, experience or social exposure, they’re in a constant state of being enraged and frustrated.
You’d think conservatives would have been happy when Bush was in office. Obama fans danced in the streets when power swapped to their side. Both were up in arms when the other side started trashing their man or launching political moves to get their way. I saw Facebook status pleas telling the world to leave Obama alone, while a click at the bottom of their page takes me to an old post about how Satan (Bush) is the cause of everything from hangnails to deforestation. No matter which party is at the tiller, my political feeds were a constant stream of anger, frustration and hatred.
Next comes criticism for the political inactivity of what I call the “meh” party. One day I took a quick mental survey of the most politically vocal people I know and what they actually do to support their stance. A very small few actually take any action. Those who do are passionate, powerful and often positive. I’ll assume that everyone votes. I do, and it’s one of the most powerful rights we have. What’s next? I became a life member of the NRA because I’m a second amendment guy. It appears that my $1000 was spent to hire my personal envelope stuffer and telemarketer to hit me up for more money to be spent on preaching to the choir.
Remember May 1, 2006? That was the Hispanic walk-out day. It was a protest against anti-immigration action. Many local businesses closed and there was a rally at MLK park. One of the restaurants in Midland that closed its doors that day now has a parking lot packed with the conservative stronghold at every meal. It seems that anti-illegal immigration folks have a craving for tacos that’s stronger than their core beliefs. I’ve spoken to some who remember who won the 2006 super bowl but can’t remember the walk-out. I don’t know one person, my Hispanic friends included, who were in favor of walking out.
Life is short. Pick your battles wisely and do so based on where you have the most impact. Every moment you spend grinding your teeth over the news is time lost on this planet. You can’t find the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Obama’s birth certificate or an answer to national debt. The next time you contemplate slugging your TV, radio or computer when your favorite personality delivers the news of the recent heinous attack from the other side, think about the value in your time. Bring something positive into the picture instead.