I’ve been ruminating on the U.S. political scene for some time now. Most of you at least suspect that I’ll be voting to support the incumbent in a continuation of aggressive military policies. I’ll allow you to continue in this perception, because there’s not much point in my trying to convince you of what I REALLY think. Besides, the above is close enough for the sort of sweeping generalizations bloggers subsist upon.
My ruminations have little to do with the actual policies that I expect Kerry or Bush to promote if elected. Mostly I’m concerned about the way this election is tearing people up inside.
I’ve said it before: the policies of the sitting president have absolutely nothing to do with how you treat your neighbor. Deep down inside, all of us (except the genuinely sick or truly evil) want the same things. We yearn for meaningful companionship. We strive for a measure of material security. We feel pain at the pain of others. We want to have fun. Politicians will come and go, but these basics stay the same.
Politicians play these basics in their platforms. It’s not just a head-game, either. It’s not that one party or another doesn’t understand your needs. It’s that the people IN those parties have differing ideas about how to best MEET those needs (unless they’re anarchic libertarians, in which case they figure you’ll meet those needs on your own ANYWAY, so who needs government?). Let’s face it, though. The policies of a governing body can have only an impersonal, artificial impact on the basic desires of real people. A $200 tax credit? That’s little more than a momentary thrill, and certainly won’t bail anybody out of a decent string of bad luck.
The impact we individuals WANT is from each other. When a politician kisses a baby it’s a photo opportunity. When a mother kisses a baby it’s something else entirely.
Regardless of who wins, regardless of how close the election is, regardless of whether or not you think so-and-so “stole the election,” you’re still going to have neighbors on November 3rd. Be nice to them. Vote your conscience on the 2nd, and then be conscientious for the rest of the week.
Or (hey, why NOT?) maybe the rest of the year.
Oh, and be nice to each other in the comments below. Think of it as a dry run.