Don't Talk Politics, Don't Throw Stones

Writing about politics is pointless. The internet gives every asshole on earth the ability to shout their half-formed mostly-stolen opinion through a megaphone. These opinions cover every aspect of the reality rainbow from spot-on to barely understandable.

Let’s say, for instance, our President were to moon Enrique Pena Nieto, the President of Mexico. They’re supposed to meet to discuss something inconsequential like refugees fleeing gang violence for the opportunity to live a life without the threat of being kidnapped or shot. Something innocuous. And then right before they shake hands, Trump turns around, drops his pants to his ankles, and waves his hideous ass back and forth like the flag majestically floating through the breeze. I’m assuming the press’ cameras would explode in an attempt to get the best shot, and Pena Nieto would either vomit his huevos onto his shoes or simply melt like the guys at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Basically the room would explode and Trump would moonwalk out of there thinking he totally nailed it.

Hashtags would appear and compound, followed by a billion tweets ranging from “It’s bad Trump mooned that guy,” to “Hell yeah Trump mooned that guy,” and everything in between. Everyone would fight each other, nobody would listen, and nothing would come of it.

The ease of which we can disseminate our opinions effectively makes them inconsequential. None of it matters anymore. We used to have leaders we could rally behind. Their quotes would be pasted onto signs across the country and a unified theme would emerge. Now we’re all too busy yelling to create a meaningful dialogue. The sentiments are still there, they’re just fragmented.

So what’s the point of writing about politics? To analyze the current state? One side not listening to the other side and doing stuff the detractors don’t agree with? How groundbreaking. I submit that Newton’s third law of motion also applies to politics: Any argument from the left will be met with an equal and opposite argument from the right. Imagine an old Dragonball Z cartoon where two aliens are shooting laser beams at each other. The blue laser from the left is smashing into the red laser from the right, and the point of contact is wavering somewhere in the middle. The only way the blast point reaches a side is when another alien shows up and adds their red or blue laser into the fray.

So is that where we’re at? Whoever can shoot the most lasers wins? I hope not. I want believe in the power of a well-reasoned argument, even if the person with whom you are speaking doesn’t believe in reason. And that’s another reason writing about politics is pointless. Reality doesn’t matter anymore. All news is fake when you don’t agree with it, so what’s the point of putting together evidence? The only people who will listen are the ones who already agree with you. Discussing politics is about “Huh, I never thought of it that way,” and not, “I know, right?”

Ultimately, when you’re discussing politics, you’re talking about how people should live their lives. That’s not something to be taken lightly. The consequences from bills and laws and such (your ignorance is showing, Josh) has a direct effect on the day-to-day life of the populace. We’re not talking about which singer should advance to next level of the competition; we’re talking about reproductive rights, and prison sentences for non-violent offenses, and healthcare. It doesn’t matter if your team won or lost; it matters if the result of the vote positively or negatively affects people’s lives.

But that’s not the argument. The argument is tribal. Us versus them. Evil versus good. The problem is that both sides are right. And both sides are wrong. There needs to be a discussion on a case-by-case basis to find out which side is less wrong. But there are too many people screaming and even if someone wants to listen, the voices are drowned out into white noise. You can’t hear a single person talking shit from the stands of a baseball game. You can only hear the collective boos.

So that’s why I say it’s pointless. But am I right? The optimist would say no. The optimist would say all we can do is speak our personal truth and hope we’re heard. And maybe they’re right. But I don’t have faith in people coming around to the good side, because there is no good side. The only way out is to abandon the mindset of red jerseys versus blue jerseys (or lasers) and that’s not going to happen anytime soon. The people who care most have those colors tattooed on their souls. Perhaps one day the climate will relax enough where people can rub their eyes as if coming out of a dream. Refreshed, well-rested, and emerging from a pile of rubble surrounded by smoldering heaps of garbage:

“What year is it? Where am I? What was all the shouting for?”

 

 

Afterthought:

Really, though, the way out isn’t through writing or discussion but through action. You can sit on the internet and pour your thoughts and opinions into the black hole of information all day long, but if you don’t back that up with a trip to the ballot box then you’re essentially telling yourself to shut the fuck up.