October 17, 2017

Does this Presidential election even matter?

I’m a hypocrite. I consciously chose to remove myself from anything political, forever and for always, shortly after the previous presidential election. Unfortunately, for you, this does not leave me opinion less. So here I am writing a blog on politics. Hence, the hypocrisy.

Clinton vs. Trump. These two candidates are so polarizing and attractive to their respective camps that it has created the most entertaining and interesting presidential election in modern times, or possibly ever. Trump has an empire of wealth and tremendous business savvy that cannot be ignored, yet an outlandish, unfiltered approach that alienates millions. Clinton has a resume that includes decades in politics, multiple high-level positions, including U.S. Senate and Secretary of State, and a bulldog type work ethic, yet her private life and her dishonesty, some would say, have left many voters very uneasy.

What does one do? Does one vote for the cartoon character whose solution to illegal immigration includes building a wall along the U.S./Mexican border? Or, in attempt to reduce domestic terrorism, cut off anyone that identifies as a certain religion from entering our country until they’ve been “properly vetted”? Or, according to most, hasn’t paid federal income tax for years while making hundreds of millions of dollars during that time? Or how about the way he treats women? On the other hand; what about someone who deleted tens of thousands of emails AFTER receiving a congressional subpoena to hand over exactly what she deleted? Or participated with the DNC to handicap Bernie Sanders’ campaign that most likely prevented him from any real chance at the Democratic nomination? Or actively helped hush women that her husband “stepped out” with by intimidating them into silence? Are these our choices? None for me, thanks!

And then there’s the lobbyists. I cannot ignore the fact that every politician has an agenda – greed. This greed often rears its ugly head to the tune of reelection fundraising and I struggle to acknowledge a politician’s actions as honorable when “big business” throws endless amounts of money into the pockets of a politician to further along legislation that benefits said businesses. It leads me to a conclusion that there’s probably a dozen, or so, companies that run this world. Are Clinton or Trump able to shake loose from these temptations, or influence genuine change in others to begin behaving appropriately? I doubt it.

What is the truth? I have put years in on this topic and have concluded that humans are simply doing it wrong. We live in a big garden (Earth) that provides us with everything we could ever dream of or want, yet we are so easily distracted with shiny things that only leave us unfulfilled and desperate. The best part is; that’s exactly how the government wants it to be. The government wants us to pay taxes, consume and repeat. They love it when we get all wound up about tax returns and deleted emails. They need us to be fighting in line over the latest iPhone, or busy talking about last night’s episode of The Walking Dead or the latest on Taylor Swift’s romantic life. These distractions allow them to remain unaccountable. This is no accident. This is all intentional. As one of my favorite comedians, Bill Hicks, said “Go back to sleep, America”.

So I’m back to where I started – abstinent from politics. I refuse to participate in the facade that we are involved in constructive change. Or that my vote has influence on anything or anyone. The world, society and the government will keep chugging along, making choices that benefit its own agendas without fear of accountability no matter how I vote. In closing; I often recall a song by one of my favorite bands, Rush (Canada’s darlings), in which there is a line, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”. The song is about freedom from religion, but it sums up my attitude on politics, government and society very well. Enjoy your distractions.

Barry Grandgenett
Barry Grandgenett 8 Articles
Former Staff Writer

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