History · Philosophy · Politics

The First Inning of the First Half

Yesterday, I wrote that politics is a game, the politicians are the players, and we as citizens are the spectators. This game cares not for who wins or who loses, just that it continues as a “pleasant” distraction to those watching, simply so those who play the game can continue to do so and stay in power. The question  now is, what, if anything can we do about it, and beyond that, what are we actually willing to do.

The game itself we call politics. on the surface it is simple. Politics, how much of this country and the world see it is the process in which we elect those who govern over our cities, states, and nation. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is only a simply piece, a very abstract part, of  what politics really is. Looking beyond a textbook definition – for dictionaries do not help us here – politics is the game that is played by people who seek power in an arena of government. This game includes speeches, pandering, promises and lies. It includes backstabbing, insults, name calling and power brokering. Simply put, being in power is not enough, staying in power is a must, no matter your political affiliation or moral compass.

I have written before that it doesn’t matter who gets elected or which party is in power, for they both want the same thing in the end, the status quo. Without the status quo, it is possible for change, and change COULD mean that one party or political entity may have to retire from the game. Neither side wants this, for they are both known quantities to each other. Yes, Republicans want to beat Democrats and vice-versa, yet they do not want a third or fourth party with actual promise to rise up. This would destroy the status quo – this would destroy the power base.

In this, we have seen calls for third party candidates across the country – some of them do fairly well, but others fade away. In the end, many of these people, especially the ones who do well, end up taking sides with one spectrum or the other to suit their own political needs. Put simply, the sell out. In the spirit of games, they flop on purpose to survive.

This country is in need of a wake up call. President Trump is not a wake up call, he is just a wild card thrown by the status quo. Likewise, Hillary Clinton would not have been a wake up call – nor would she have necessarily been a wild card, but in the end, status quo. The general population – aka the spectators, need a wake up call. Likewise, the game itself needs a wake up call, aka a threat to its power base that it cannot ignore. Otherwise, nothing will change, the game wins for we remain in the status quo.

What does this mean? I honestly don’t know. If we look at history we see great revolutions, great political shifts, great national changes, but they all have one thing in common, the game remains, and this game is the death of society. The cycle always comes full circle. Yes, it may be better off, but it still isn’t right, and until the game itself stops, it never will be. The game must be challenged at all levels, yet many people are comfortable where they are at and the though of repercussions is too great.

I wish to note – I am not calling for revolution or even political change, I am asking, the same as you may be, how do we stop the game. Is it as simple as stopping to watch? I find it hard to believe we will get millions of people to turn off the news. Is it as simple as getting people to stop participating when their time comes? I don’t think people will stop voting. All I know is that I have a strong belief that this game, which in the end is a farce, will destroy us.

I want to be clear on a few things: I understand that issues, i.e. abortion, homosexual rights, police violence, gang violence, addiction, health care, crime, corruption, the economy, climate change, etc are important. i also understand that everyone has differing opinions on these issues, and I understand that a lot of us have very strong differing opinions on these issues. That is okay. In fact, I am encouraged that people feel strongly, which ever way they lean, about these and other issues. In part, this is what makes us human, and we should never lose our opinions or our imagination. The problem is that these, and every other issue known to man kind has been hijacked by the game and those who play it. For those who oppose abortion and supported President Trump because of it, I said before that I felt like he doesn’t really care about abortion, but he did care about getting elected, and to pander to his base he used it as a platform. Likewise, I always felt like President Obama didn’t care either way how gay marriage went, but he also knew that he could use the platform, and so he did. i am not saying either one of these men are bad men, I am just saying that, as it is for every person who plays the game, the issues become a platform. Platforms kill issues, because now they are no longer issues but chess pieces on the board. These pieces get moved, taken and traded back and forth only to come back to the status quo.

We, the people, are being used. Our opinions and the issues that we care about are being used. We have stopped being spectators and are now two armies at war, and the players of the game sit back and sip their coffee and watch the battlefield as armchair generals. If you like being used, if you like your beliefs being pandered to for your support. If it makes you feel alive to watch the nation and the world crumble at your feet, by all means, ignore the warnings and continue watching the game. If, however, you believe that we, humanity, can rise above the game, rise above irrationality, then I ask that you weigh in on the discussion. I do not have all or really any of the answers, I can only diagnose what I see and from the view point of how I see it. To be honest, I do not see the game every stopping, mankind – humanity – at least a part of it, will always crave power and control. However, I do feel it can be constrained and controlled to the point that its destructive power is kept at bay.

Final thought – I am a religious person, and because of that, I have my own personal thoughts and a morality that I attempt to base my life on. At the same time, I never stop asking questions, and though it annoys me at times, I never stop my children from asking questions. Questioning the status quo is a must if we are to survive. Challenging the status quo must be in the equation that forms our questions. Lastly, we must push through to get results that are tangible. To do otherwise means we remain in the bleachers and continue to watch a game that sees us as no more then a check in the box. Just because I may be religious, doesn’t mean you are, and that is okay – just like it is okay that I am. Just because you may be conservative and some other person may be liberal, that is okay (they are only terms the game uses anyways). I do believe the first step is recognizing that it is okay to be different – different doesn’t mean better or worse, stupid or smart, it simply means we are human.


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