Once upon a time, I thrived on the political arena. As a youngster, I loved staying up late to watch Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. I would debate along with the rest of the panel and loved figuring out my position and listening to others. Government and civics were my favorite subjects in school.
I had decided to major in Political Science in college. I even had an ‘in’ in the department. Then I went to my first class. It was bad. Political Science in college was nothing like I thought it would be. It was… boring. It took me a minute, but I finally found a different major. Though, I still kept my political side alive and thriving in the background.
After I got married, I would watch news channels constantly. I didn’t talk as openly, but I didn’t shy away from discussion either. My BFF and I would debate news (and news stories) all the time. I followed most of the important stuff and few of the minor things.
Things slowed a bit when I had a toddler running around and Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthews were exchanged for the Backyardigans and Blue’s Clues. I still tried to hit the wavetops, but I couldn’t keep up with the minutiae for a while. I still loved to talk about politics with those who I felt comfortable with, but I also listened a fair amount.
Once we moved to Rhode Island, my love for the political arena was waning, but talk radio on my commute was still a lot of fun. I enjoyed talking back and, let’s be honest, New England politics is pretty much like a soap opera. Voter fraud, politicians who were legit criminals, and teamsters!
It was quite sensational and also very eye-opening. I realized that politics was always kind of sensational and salacious. It was also always pretty corrupt. Politics was a business just like anything else. It was a career that people chose and worked at. It was no longer a body of elected peer chosen to represent the people and area they came from. I looked around and realized that my options for representation weren’t people that looked like me or that held my beliefs and opinions, they were people who’d been taught how to talk and act to get the most votes much in the same way that I had been taught the best way to sell a product to a customer.
Politics was much more than government and civics and history as I had studied in school. Now it was a national soap opera that would be fascinating and amazing to watch, were it not for the fact that these are the people that we select to make laws and represent us to the world.
All of this is a roundabout way of stating my opinion on today’s inauguration and all the hullabaloo that is surrounding it. Did I vote for Trump or Clinton? Am I a Republican or Democrat? None of that really matters to be honest. We have a new president. That’s it. We have to respect the position whether we respect the person or not. We’ve had this issue before. We elected a suspected adulterer to the country’s top office. We elected a suspected “dimwit” as the leader of the free world. We elected a suspected “socialist” as the President of the United States. Now we’ve elected a bigot or idiot or whatever you want to call him. Each term, we have to deal with faults and issues, whether “our guy” was elected or not.
I am not happy with the state of things, but that is not anything new. I’m not necessarily happy with my elected officials. However, whining or sticking my head in the sand will not help anything. Complaining and making an idiot out of myself on social media will not affect the outcome. The best thing we can do is to pray for our leaders and be the best we can be. Love God and love each other and see where that takes us.