Election Day is one of the defining holidays in our country’s ideology. We get to express our first amendment rights and say who we want to lead us and how. We used to look to our leaders to serve our best interests and protect us. But with the rise of the Career Politicians and 24-hour news stations, politics in the United States has turned into a giant competition with losers and more losers. What is there even left to win? Respect? Trust? Fulfillment knowing that they made a difference? No, they win hyper-critism, extreme opposition to anything they try to do, only the respect of half the country as well as several new lines and wrinkles aging their once airbrushed appearance.
Current-day politicians are like professional athletes without the rockin’ bods. Just like professional athletes, they are way over paid. Part of that problem is endorsements. While an athlete may be paid by Nike to only play in Nike shoes, a career politician is funded by lobbyists and corporations with money to spend and an agenda to push. Not to mention that when you make that much money, how are you supposed to serve your state or country’s best interests? Do they even know what our best interests are? Do we even know what our best interests are anymore? An unfortunate trend in both professional-level athletics and politics has been living above the law. Or in Congress’s case, making the laws work in your favor. No one is shocked anymore at political sex scandals, corporate embezzlement, or crooked politicians. Lastly, they’ve become household names. In America we love our celebrities. We act like we know these people, personally. We speak of them casually by their first names and defend them like we would our own children. It pits neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend and worst of all, can even pull family members apart. Unless Tom Politician actually is your neighbor, childhood friend or uncle, he’s not going to be shovel your driveway, be a shoulder for you to cry on or tell you a dirty joke over the Thanksgiving dinner table. And yet, somehow his (or her) honor and career ambitions are worth scathing words, hurtful comments and severed relationships.
Shouldn’t we be a society where both sides are lobbying for the same thing: to preserve the rights and freedoms that our forefathers fought for, to keep us safe and to bring America back to the historic superpower it once was. And the differences between the sides would consist of how to achieve those mutual goals. The day after election day, instead of half of the country pissing and moaning about losing the election – could we band together to support our president and congress and trust that even though we may not necessarily agree with the how, that the outcome would be the same? A safe and prosperous country where everyone has the chance to thrive and we’d all be treated equally.
It’s ironic to me that the thing that makes us a democracy is the very thing that brings out the worst in us. If we don’t band together as a nation and stop pointing fingers and sabotaging progress – we’re no better than those countries and groups overseas that we’re fighting against. So tomorrow, instead of bragging or whining – how about throwing your faith and support behind the future. And in 4 years, how about we find candidates who the majority of the country can feel supported by (a nice moderate anyone?) so we can get back to working together instead of splitting this country in half.