By Joe Jarvis
980 days before election day 2020, Trump announced his intention to run for re-election.
This is the perpetual election cycle that the United States lives in. And it is what Trump is good at. He is an entertainer. He is the perfect distraction. When the focus is on Trump, nothing substantial gets discussed.
It would be better to talk about what is getting planted in the garden, which cryptocurrencies have potential, or whatever interests you and matters in your life. But people talk about what Trump wants to talk about.
Scandals didn’t hurt Obama because the media didn’t report on them. But scandals run off Trump, like rain off a duck, even though the media constantly try to soak him. Most of these “scandals” have nothing behind them. In fact, the true scandals hardly even get discussed.
The public is so desensitized to Trump bashing that they don’t pay attention to which is which. Like a magician, Trump keeps the focus on what he wants you to see, and the slight of hand is missed.
Trump understands and exploits the media attention. He knows that most people are not really interested in government policy. They talk about elections and campaigns. They want the drama, the reality TV show coverage of the event. They treat elections like a sporting event.
And as a reality TV show star, Trump is right at home in the controversy of the campaign. He knows that it sells. He knows how to work the crowd. And he knows that keeping him on the minds of every American is his most sure-fire way of getting re-elected.
The constant election media coverage has a divisive effect on America. It pits one side against another and perpetuates an “us versus them” mentality. It is always about who is dominating who, and the contest to get back on top.
Somehow the media convinces the public that there are only two sides in such a diverse world. Every individual has their own interests, but somehow this is boiled down to Republican versus Democrat.
And then the two sides just happen to come together to approve massive military expenditures, and trillion dollar deficits. They even come together to renew secret FISA courts’ authority to spy on Americans, at the exact same time the party that controls both Houses of Congress releases a memo criticizing the court!
Meanwhile, the voters are left to quarrel amongst themselves. The more divisions among the populace the better. Politicians can exploit these for votes. They tailor their message depending on the specific demographic. It can be black versus white, rich versus poor, rural versus urban, man versus woman, straight versus gay, and so on.
But none of these divisions would stay on anyone’s mind without the government constantly inserting the inflammatory talking points. And they do this most effectively on the campaign trail. That is when the clashes between candidates occur, and the voters are expected to mirror these.
When normal people mingle, they end up finding common ground. They’re not so bad, they think, maybe our differences aren’t so important after all. But then politics enters the scene and hatred froths to the surface. Innocent people are accused of hate speech, racism, murdering children, hating the poor, hating immigrants and so on.
Part of the problem is that individuals should be able to go their separate ways, but we are all forced under the big 320 million person umbrella of the United States. Political fractures are good for society when one group can’t force their will on another. But people are in a struggle for power because if they don’t assert themselves, someone else will dominate them.
These sentiments are manufactured by the media and the perpetual political cycle. If no one had the power to ruin our lives with legislation, to steal from us or for us, then there would be no friction. Individuals would go their own ways, and interact when they wanted to. They could disassociate as they please, and team up when they want.
The political process smashes otherwise peaceful people into each other until something snaps.
The media tells us that it is right to pay attention to political campaigns for the sake of democracy. We the voters are the gatekeepers of the government and have ultimate control over the country.
Of course, this is false. It is entirely out of an individual’s control to affect the outcome of an election. once you get down to the local level it matters a little bit more. But we are bombarded daily with national politics.
Congress used to meet for a couple months each year. The congressmen had real jobs and were only compensated for the time they spent away from their farms and businesses. They addressed problems–now they create them and exploit the call for a solution. They sit around thinking of what to spend our money on, how they can take more of it, and how to position themselves for re-election.
The President was never meant to be on the public’s mind 24/7. What he does really shouldn’t affect our lives. But it does affect our lives in a world of perpetual policymaking. It affects us as control centralizes in the hands of DC politicians instead of the states, and local governments, but most importantly, individuals.
My best suggestion is to argue with actions, not words. Live the life you deserve, the life that makes you a free individual. The government talks big and thumps its chest, but really they just make an example of a few people and the rest fall in line. Fly under the radar, refuse to engage with the divisive politics, and let people judge you by your actions and lifestyle.