Ok, I (Sort of) Give Up

I read a lot about news and politics, probably way too much. Because there are diminishing returns that go along with being aware of problems that you can’t do anything about.

It’s good to know that problems exist, in general, because it helps you to grasp what kind of world you’re living in. It helps you to understand reality. And when repercussions from those problems reach you, as they sometimes do, you know where they came from; it’s not like an angry god is dropping lightning bolts randomly from the sky.

But there’s a point where the number and scope of the problems start to become overwhelming, and you despair. I think I’m starting to reach that point.

Because of events of this week, I’m starting to think that there is a distinct possibility that at some point in the future I may hold in my hand a ballot–that sacred implement of blessed democracy–that forces me to choose between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. For president. Of the United States.

I never considered this a serious possibility before. Even after Obama, I kind of assumed that American voters still had some minimum standards for who they would accept as a serious presidential candidate. But no, apparently both Bizarro Archie Bunker and the Sopranos’ real estate agent are now suitable candidates for the office once held by Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

There’s a lot of chaos in political campaigns. Things can change fast, and change a lot. (The front runner for the GOP nomination at this point in 2008 was Rudy Giuliani. Remember the Giuliani presidency? Good times.) So we are by no means locked into these guys as nominees. But… it’s a possibility, and that’s just depressing.

Depressing not least because I’m not going to have anybody to vote for. I’ve always voted Republican not because I was excited about it, but just because I always thought the Democrat was a dangerous boob. If Trump is the nominee, there will be no non-dangerous-boob option.

So, if I’m not even allowed to hold on to the illusion that my vote might do some good, I don’t see any reason to play anymore. Bad things keep happening and nobody seems interested in doing anything about it, so all the news just makes me sad and angry and gives me an unhealthy level of contempt for everyone involved in the process. There are more constructive things I could do with my time, so I’m going to do them.

I’m too much of a news junkie to walk away completely, so I’m sure I’ll check in now and then, out of compulsion as much as anything. But all the kids can have their fight about who’s going to be homecoming king (or queen) without me. Once the dust has settled, I’ll take another look around, and hopefully find more than just dust remaining.

In the meantime, I’m going to be happier and funnier and more productive. Maybe I’ll lose some weight and learn a foreign language. Hopefully, dear reader, my writing will bring you smiles more than futility. Let’s not think about politics and maybe enjoy ourselves for the next few months, okay? And God bless us every one.

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