Nightmare and Hope
Posted on July 8th, 2016
Three days of nightmare
But not a new one
We idolize violence
Even as we condemn it
I criticize electoral politics frequently. Often by means of satire. Satire is one of the few things that can cut through the noise and arrest our conscience when we are deluged with trite soundbites, tribal sparring, aggressive advertorials, and social mass media memes.
But I am incredibly serious, too. The reason I criticize electoral politics is that I despise abuse of and violence against human beings. I lament the incredible effort that well-intentioned people spend on electing pro-death candidates. Effort that could instead be spent on saving lives and building sustainable alternatives.
Let's consider the coming presidential election in the USA:
Starting more than two years before the election, with less than half of the previous presidential term completed, people in North America are spending billions of hours and billions of dollars preparing a pro-death candidate. The US will largely be voting between someone who will essentially try to sustain the ever-escalating trajectory the nation is on, and someone who will make it worse even faster. And the winner will likely have captured less than 15% of the population’s lukewarm vote.
At this point, many of you will be objecting that “this work is important to make sure we don't get a 'make it worse' option". Fine. Do some work towards that. Vote if you like. But please evaluate the scale of the cost, consider how much the process is commercialized, envision the degree to which it is played like sport & entertainment, and, most of all, appreciate the cost in human lives.
No, I do not expect that a magical third party candidate will be elected, nor that such a candidate would be successful in creating positive changes. I am asking that we dream bigger. That we look beyond two year increments. That we are courageous about exploring alternatives. That we learn to live without fear. That we learn to love our fellow human beings.