Much like the large percent of the population, I am looking forward to this election cycle coming to a close.
The aspect of the elections that wears on me though does not have as much in common with the majority of those who are exhausted and exasperated with what election time yields. Most folks are weary of the political back-and-forth slinging, like a snowballs packed with rocks and ice. Many are weary of the punditry where each side has an irrefutable fact that invalidates the conjured up statistics and fantasies of their opponents.
What I find myself weary of is the surrendering of personal power. I am fatigued by the blame game that seems to have no final score, that goes into quintuple overtime to the nth power. There always seems to be one candidate that will be the straw that breaks the book of Revelation’s back, filling cabinets with apocalyptic horsemen. The other will part the Red White and Blue Sea and lead America into the unbroken promise land.
And invariably, this election is the most important election of our time, on which the outcome of our future is ever-so-precariously hinged. As has been said of every election prior to this one.
What compels us to place our entire future on the back of one person? Why do we feel so helpless in our own personal lives through our own personal power of choice, of decision, a thing we do literally every moment of our lives, that we fall into some great lapse of amnesia when election time rolls around?
None of these candidates can force us to buy a particular brand of car. None of them can force us to eat a particular type of food or demand what sort of footwear we don on our feet. I have never heard anyone say “I work at this particular job because the president compelled me to”.
I’m not even going to entertain the argument of potential dictatorship. Last I heard we are not in a despot regime. The U.S. political system has done a fantastic job in ensuring our freedoms have been well preserved and I have the utmost faith it will continue to do so. Yes, I do understand it is often the case where our choices may seem minimized. I know laws are passed that obfuscate our options. But our choices are as broad as the effort we are willing to make to see the myriad of them that lay in wait on our own infinite horizon.
We may not see the candidate we want elected this year, but we still have our own power as consumers and communicators. We can still choose which words we share with others. We still can choose love interests without the restraints of arranged marriages. At the end of the day we determine our own outcomes based on our choices and our resulting actions. No president, senator, representative or ombudsman can make a choice for us. If we are dissatisfied or proud of the outcome of our own individual lives, we need to own up to the fact that our lives are of our own creation.
Sorry, but I’m going to look at anyone sideways if they blame the president because they had a bad day.