Washington (D.C.) is the expected epicenter of an approaching patch of extreme weather, an historic storm that is, in large part, due to the damage our modern society has done to the environment. And utterly without irony, there’s going to be a big snow storm there, too.
The crazy weather does seem suited to the craziness going on in politics. As with climate change due to the increase of CO2, the flow of other pollutants into public discourse has changed the social environment.
The Earth’s weather is getting chaotic, and so is its politics.
Recently I heard about research attributing the high degree of polarization today to the interweb and its ability — the infamous “internet bubble” — to isolate us in an echo chamber of our already held views.
It’s not that the interweb causes polarization — we’ve always been pretty good at it — but it seems maybe the interweb can really accelerate the process. It does seem the political environment has become extremely polarized (emphasis on extreme) lately.
How many times have I quoted it: Evil doesn’t question itself.
Our social weather has become something of, as writers should never put it, “a dark and stormy night” (as opposed to the stormy nights that aren’t dark). The floods, tornadoes, and blizzards (oh, my) outside seem reflective of the political chaos appearing on the campaign trail.
Did you hear?! Donnie Boy said “two Corinthians” about the Bible, and Feel the Bernie said “establishment” about Hillary! Cruz is a Canadian (and apparently one of the only mean ones in existence). And there are a bunch of pilot fish swimming around the GOP shark.
What does it say about our politics that we have:
On the one side, a 68-year-0ld presumptive nominee who is well-liked (but widely hated) and who comes with much baggage. We also have a 74-year-old socialist who does a lot of excited yelling, and some young guy (he’s only 53, a babe) tagging along after them on a practice candidacy.
On the other side an enigma wrapped in a large brick, a pair of right wing-nuts (one of whom is not a natural-born citizen), and those little pilot fish hoping for scraps.
Or that the shark somehow magically dies (perhaps due to the dreaded Alaskan Incoherent Babbling disease it seems to have contracted recently).
There is a fundamental equation in how the success of a candidate for office correlates with the degree to which they acknowledge and reflect the perceived reality of their constituency. This is why Trump is so successful and Jeb! is not. It’s why Cruz and Rubio get any traction at all.
But this means candidates are followers, not leaders. We vote for the person who least challenges us, who most espouses (whether truly believed or not) our own views. We do we vote for those who follow us rather than show they can lead us?
Sadly, Trump does lead, but in what appears to be an awful direction. It may be wise to remember that what candidates say on the trail usually has little connection with what they do when elected. Whatever else he is, Donnie Boy is no conservative.
It is not lost on me; the irony of writing a post that likely will be lost in the internet sea. And, of course, those who already agree will continue to do so while who don’t won’t. We rarely question our own views.
I suppose, ultimately, it’s just my rant, and maybe its only value is personal and in the expression, the getting it off the chest. (Or maybe old men just gotta yell at clouds.)
But I can’t help but feel that Rome is burning all around us while a self-entitled vox populi of Neros fiddle mindlessly with Twitter and YouTube and Facebook and all the other distractions of modern life. The inability of (seemingly) anyone to focus on substance amazes and depresses me.
I laughed at all the fear about the Millennium Bug (remember that?). I had friends that were stocking up on food, water, and guns, but I just laughed.
I laughed at all the fear about Ebola (remember that?). People thought we were all going to die horribly. They announced recently it’s been eradicated in parts of Africa, and it never was a problem here. I didn’t laugh (’cause people were dying), but I wasn’t concerned about Ebola any more than I was the Y2K thing.
But I’m not laughing now.
Or rather, I am, but it’s because I’ve stopped caring.
It’s just this weird Unreality Show that runs 24×7 on multiple networks at once. The main plot beats are repeated and discussed endlessly each day, so you never miss anything.
It would be a lot of fun if not for the whole “it’s our future” aspect.