(Update: I’ve backslid since writing this blog post. Arkansas politics has been brutal to liberals, secularists, or anyone interested in sensible government.)
(Note: politics and staying informed are not synonymous. Politics tends to focus on the demagoguery and platform ideals of our government’s working and influences. It is the quintessential “us versus them” or “right/wrong” system at work.)
All things being equal, honestly, who cares what I personally think? It’s not the most appealing conclusion to realize, but it is almost universally true – for everyone. (Even you, right now, the person reading this post: your years of thought and beliefs about how things ought to be are and will always be overshadowed by the millions of differing opinions working against you.)
Due to being able to stand back from the fray for so long has given me the ability to appreciate just how obligated people feel to have an opinion and maintain it. And they never seem to think about the relentless obligatory fatigue of it.(I’ll let you in an open secret about politics: most people don’t want to hear your opinion – they want to express theirs. It’s selfish, I understand. But it is mostly true. As strongly as you feel sometimes that someone is an idiot about an idea they hold, rest assured that someone else you know feels that your opinion is just as ridiculous. I’ve often speculated that one attribute of a developed mind is to be able to know that this is true and still be able to listen to someones else give an opinion without attacking.)
Do I laugh a lot at people who get worked up, frustrated or angry about the current state of things? Sometimes, yes. It’s narcissism past a certain point. They are so convinced that their opinion makes one iota of difference. They also often feel that anyone who isn’t upset is either stupid or doesn’t care. This is ego in the most pure form. Almost NO ONE I know well takes direct action based on their political opinions – most people are passively trying to convince other people that their opinion is correct. It is mostly talk, chin music, and much ado about nothing. Political opinion is akin to sports to me – both keep a large segment of the population from ever really doing anything substantive in society.We are much too busy going about the business of developing and maintaining our own version of the political truth.The reality is that most people’s most ardent political opinions have no effect in the real world, nor do they make the person holding said opinions smarter or happier.