The Stupidity of Politics

On the way to the airport this morning, NPR critiqued the recent speeches by GOP nominees (I can’t bear to name them here) and cited factual errors on both sides of the congressional carpet. The Detroit sky had changed from pink to a mute white-gray as we drove the quiet highway and I couldn’t help but remark that the way the highest politicians run a campaign today is just the stupidest thing I can imagine.

It’s basically, the other guy does it wrong, so elect me in his place.

What happened to dreams and ideals, plans and promises, outlines of a better way and the gusto to implement it?

I know two people who maintain their optimistic ideals that their voice and their activism can and will make a difference for our country. One is my wonderful husband, who has devoted his life to paving a better path for workers. The other is a long-time friend who believes he can make a difference to get good people elected.

Everyone else is full of ballyhoo.

To hear the top candidates argue and point fingers, to hear the heightened voices and the accusations, to listen to, time and again, attempts to discredit the other party as a strategy, well, how did we get here? A person’s candidacy should really have nothing to do with his opponent. Nothing at all. It should be a straight track from I believe to I will do, plain and simple.

Outside our room at this lovely B&B (the Kate Stanton Inn in Encinitas, California), there are lemon trees and grapefruit trees and orange trees and lime trees, all on our own private patio. There is ocean from multiple angles. There are lovely innkeepers welcoming guests with conversation and a lavender shortbread cookie.

Candidates hope that people like us will vote them into power, and they base their hope on accusations. For once, I’d like to see a candidate LISTEN more than speak, make eye contact with real Americans rather than stage handshakes at opportune locales.

I’m glad I’m not home to be near their campaigning this Labor Day weekend. I’m sorry to say it because I believe in our President long and hard. He inherited a mess – which took us a long time to create and it will take him – and his brethren – a long time to resolve it, too.

That’s the secret no one talks about: real change, real progress, doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. And patience. And peace.

For today, I’m going to shut out the arguing and welcome the sound of the surf. What started as a work trip has morphed into a gift of a quick weekend jaunt with the love of my life. There’s no room in that for aimless speech.

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