Been a while since I’ve written an original political rant on Facebook or anywhere else for that matter. I have given up on attempting to influence anyone’s political opinion on Facebook. It just ticks friends off. Now, I still share the occasional meme about taxation being theft, or how a spoon makes you fat if a gun can actually kill someone, but as far as scratching a flawless argument into text, I’m just not feeling it anymore.
Given the recent political environment, however, I do find myself musing over a few things, and I thought that, rather than writing a long rant on Facebook, I would revive this old politic blog…at least for a short reunion tour. So here we are, and here we go. Hopefully, this will make some sort of sense.
Back in the day…
Back when I was in college…the second time…as a nontraditional student who actually cared for the classes I was taking…. one of the papers I wrote required me to formulate a poll and then head over to a local mall and ask folks the questions from said poll. I felt that I needed a minimum of a hundred people to answer my well thought questions. Doing so would allow me to gain an adequate sample size and to justify any conclusions that came as a result.
The goal of the paper was to determine exactly how much people actually cared about politics, if they’d be voting in the upcoming election (believe it was the 2000 Presidential Primaries at the time), and to what level, if any, they understood the issues.
I found that people overwhelmingly did not give a crap about politics, yet they were still going to vote, were passionate about their chosen candidate, and had a poor, almost comical, understanding of economics, social issues, and other political issues. A scary combination, right?
As a poly sci student who lived, breathed, and loved all things political, I found the findings sad and unfortunate. It forced me to reevaluate my faith in my fellow citizens, and my belief that I, as an individual, could actually make an impact on someone else’s life in a positive way. People are stupid about politics and just don’t care enough to research the issues.
Combined with this little exercise, I had also recently worked my very first congressional campaign…which gave me the behind the curtain insights that makes one jaded towards the system. I would imagine it was much like a fence being torn down at Disney World. The magic is gone, the smiles aren’t real, and Mickey’s head isn’t actually affixed to his shoulders.
These two experiences caused me to coin the phrase, “There’s a conspiracy afoot, and those perpetrating it are counting on your continued apathy.” While a sad phrase, it did make me feel better because, well, I thought it was clever. It was an astute observation that no one was seemingly making…or at least not mentioning at the time.
Something has changed…or has it?
Fast forward almost 20 yrs, and I think it’s time to reevaluate that phrase. There definitely is a conspiracy afoot and apathy still exists, but the apathy isn’t total apathy, it’s an apathy for information that contradicts or is not totally consistent with one’s own beliefs.
Unlike in the days when I wrote that paper, we have access to limitless amounts of information, news, and other resources. There are no excuses for being misinformed, and yet, many of us still are…
Should He though?
Take the Impeachers, for example. Since his election, there has been a group of folks shouting for Trump’s Impeachment. As someone who did not vote for Trump, and as a result, does not have a biased opinion on the matter, I have yet to find anything that would legally justify his impeachment. So far, it is a group of politicians attempting to make waves, a name for themselves, or make their bases happy.
Exhibit A: According to Article II: Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, the POTUS shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Notice that all of those things mentioned are some form of crime that requires conviction. Former President Bill Clinton, who was impeached but not removed from office, was convicted of perjury prior to being impeached and subsequently censured.
While the facts are still not laid out in the Ukrainian phone conversation situation, I do not find that there is sufficient evidence of Trump breaking any laws. As a matter of fact, if you believe the phone transcripts that were released, it’s quite the opposite. Even so, there has yet to be a formal trial and conviction, so impeaching him at this point is very premature and is only serving to those who are attempting to gain political capital. Nothing has come of the Russian collusion inquiries either. Of course, I’m not an attorney…
Same goes for the current climate change situation. While, there is no debate that the climate is actively changing… and has been for billions of years… there is little data to support that additional taxes on greenhouse emissions, killing cows, and the like would have any impact on it.
Yet, in both cases, people are bound and determined to use selective data and emotion to back up their own beliefs without regard to the possible flaws in that data. Or, listening to opposing opinions that may fill in some gaps in that data.
Settle down now…. Just because I’m bringing up current events that happen to be liberal causes ti illustrate this point does not mean it doesn’t happen on the other side of the aisle as well. I could point to several examples, but I have already burnt up more words than I had planned to use in this article
But, where is the conspiracy?
Now, this is pure speculation on my part, but those perpetrating the conspiracy are the ones in power. The ones with an agenda who would rather see everyone amped up on emotion, arguing over silly things, and not paying attention to what actually is happening in the political world. Maybe…just maybe….there is an underage sex-trafficking ring being covered up because some very powerful people were involved. OR, maybe some corporate statists like the status quo. Either way, there is definitely a conspiracy afoot, and those perpetrating it are counting on your continued one sided apathy, infighting, and preoccupancy.