In 50 years, American history books will either be wild or watered down to a point where the significance of what’s going on will seem pretty small. Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen’s sentencings probably won’t even make the cut for what kids will learn about. In a few years, most of the story about the resolution passed on anti-hate remarks will be forgotten, even though many aspects of this story are a dumpster fire. All the wild headlines that accompanied the 45th presidency of these United States will be blips we’ll glaze over because there comes a point where it stops shocking us.
With another term looming ahead, we’ll of course have more wild stories to follow. Some of the news will be actually important to keep up with and understand, other stories will be inane and contribute to the political fatigue. It’s not that we receive news updates about what’s going on, but more so that we receive repetitive updates about empty headlines.
A recent example an exhausting kind of political story is the coverage of the Michael Cohen hearing. Not to say the hearing wasn’t important, but there were more important stories: migrant children in U.S. custody being sexually abused, Oregon leading the way with statewide rent control, DJT’s fruitless meeting with Kim Jong Un, or even the conflict between India and Pakistan. Regardless of how you feel about any of these stories, it’s hard to deny that they’re a little more significant than Michael Cohen acknowledging he broke the law and calling DJT a racist (like, bruh, DJT is not concerned about another person calling him a racist. Please share something substantial and don’t take 6 hours to do it).
Extensive coverage of stories is important for keeping citizens informed and with access to information. However, maybe understand that showing and dissecting Michael Cohen’s testimony for the next week is a bit too much. There are other stories in the country and the world that people need to hear about. Maybe this is why fewer people are watching the news these days? Or maybe, people are just fatigued by the stress of the news.
I’m tired. Not just that lay-on-my-couch-on-a-Saturday-afternoon tired, but a I-just-want-the-world-to-better-why-isn’t-it-better tired. It feels like we’re constantly bombarded with the stories of politicians lying and cheating. At this point, should we even be surprised that some are taking money from organizations with interests counter to who they represent? We’re becoming desensitized to the information thrown at us 24/7, and, for me, it’s exhausting. Keeping up with every story and trying to find the truth in the narratives is tiring and disheartening. I’m not blaming the media for this, but more so the divisive rhetoric of folks on both sides. The issue isn’t just the divisive rhetoric of both sides, but the fact that nobody is holding anyone else accountable for trying to come together. Plenty of folks preach the “reach across the aisle” approach. Not enough people buy into the practice of being open to hearing what someone with different ideals has to say. People make issues so black and white, when clearly issues like healthcare, education, and immigration operate in the gray. Now, not just typical political topics are polarized, but everything is polarizing. Like, damn, Janet, I wasn’t trying to get into a shouting match over creamy and chunky peanut butter.
Everyone acts as if they are rowing their own boat, but the problem is these politicians are all on the same shell. Let me tell you a basic thing about crew: If the crew team is not rowing in synch, they’re going to have some issues. American politicians (and let’s be honest, the media outlets they’re paying and the private organizations that are paying them) have some major issues that need to be resolved before they can start rowing again. Unfortunately, by both the Republicans and Democrats trying to play a game of “gotcha,” the American people are 1) getting tired of following the nonsense and 2) being screwed over by the people who are supposed to be getting things done. Good job, U.S. government, you can get Democrats and Republicans to agree that elected officials are dinking around and wasting tax dollars. Congratulations.