Is Anyone Taking American Politics Seriously Anymore?

When a reality TV star with no political experience and a trail of bankruptcies and scandals won the American election, I knew U.S. politics had hit a new low. Some of his supporters said it was time that we see a fresh face unspoiled by political corruption. I laughed at this. Is there anyone more corrupt than billionaires? Who do you think slips money into the pockets of politicians to move policies in their favour?

While discussing the election with a Liberal American friend of mine, I told him, “At least this proves that what they say of America is true. Anyone can achieve their wildest dreams in this country, no matter what their starting point is.”

We laughed — albeit bitterly — and then the conversation grew serious once more. We shared some concern that the political process going forward would be one riddled with more comic relief than civic seriousness. Our predictions have not gone unrealised.

The President calling another head of state “fat” and arguing over who had the biggest button was just the start of the ongoing deterioration of the seriousness of American politics. Now, not only have other Republicans followed suit, but even some Democrats have taken it upon themselves to wallow in the mud.

Republicans: The Georgia Governor Elections

This was the first ad I saw from Brian Kemp when he was running for governor of Georgia. Here’s the second:

After seeing the second video, I reached out to my friend and told him, “I can’t believe this. Republicans have officially become a parody of themselves.”

If you’re a Liberal who watches a lot of comedy or you are not born in America, you know exactly what I mean. When comedians make fun of rednecks in backwood Georgia, these are the jokes they crack, never quite actually believing it to be the truth. It’s the same case for people overseas when they talk about Americans. So, imagine this becoming the actual face of an allegedly serious political campaign.

And, he won!

Since his time in office, Kemp is perhaps most well-known for the Heartbeat Bill, which was one of the first to start the red-state competition to see who could come up with the worst anti-abortion laws and enforce them. The bill has since been blocked by a federal judge but Kemp has promised to keep fighting.

Democrats: Bloomberg’s Presidential Campaign

The tweet that inspired this blog post is this one. Bloomberg’s team was extremely proud of hoisting this up ahead of Trump visiting a rally in Phoenix. But wait, there’s more…

There is a quote often credited to Mark Twain. While I don’t believe Republicans are stupid, the quote is nonetheless fitting. It says:

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

Replace stupid with whatever you would use to describe Kemp’s campaign and our president’s behaviour and the meaning remains the same. While I had long accepted that Republicans were just fine becoming real-life memes, I was surprised to see Democrats willingly throwing off their evening wear and wallowing in the mud.

Independents: Both of Bernie’s Presidential Campaigns

I don’t care what anyone says: Bernie is not a Democrat. He is simply using the platform to his own ends because he’s unable to gain the same amount of traction as an Independent. He refers to “the Democratic Establishment” as “them” and “they” and encourages an ongoing split in Democrat votes.

I think this year, we will have the same problem with Bernie supporters that we did the year before. In the last election season, they were so mad at Hillary for winning the Democrat seat that one in 10 Bernie supporters voted for Trump. This is the number one reason, I do not trust diehard Bernie fans.

Anyone who is willing to vote against the same people their leader was running against just because he didn’t win is problematic and irrational. Granted, this is just 10% but lump that in with the number of people who also chose not to vote at all and you can see how alleged Democrats allowed a Blue win to slip through their fingers.

That said, almost every Bernie supporter I’ve spoken to who did not vote told me they considered voting for Trump. When I asked them why, they said, “Because it would shake up America.”

I replied to one White millennial man who told me this, “So you would put people like me at risk so you can shake up your country?”

A White woman who appeared to be a law student was sitting not far from me and perked up when I said this. As the guy blundered a response, she hopped right into the conversation and let him know in no uncertain terms what his “shake up” had cost minorities, immigrants and women — while only bolstering his rights and privileges.

“As a White American-born citizen, you are the least likely to be affected by any of these policies,” I added. “You made that decision from a place of privilege by choosing an action that would affect you least of all while putting everyone else in a vulnerable position. That’s one of the most selfish and irrational things I have ever heard.”

He had no response to that. The student rolled her eyes at him, packed her things, told me “Good luck” and walked out.

The End of the Road

If America’s forefathers could see the current state of U.S. politics, I wonder what their responses would be. Imagine fighting as hard as they did for self-governance only to have the campaigns for the highest office reduced to quips about burnt stake and public shakeups.

It seems that Americans have not learned much of anything in the past four years, but I do hope there are more exceptions than I see among us. What I know for a fact is that Republicans have Democrats beat when it comes to unity while sowing seeds of division.

Nothing unites people like a common enemy: the LGBTQ, immigrants, people of colour and women who do not know their place. That is the upper hand they will always wield without mercy over America that will earn them the winning position in the White House time and time again.

Meanwhile, Democrats and Independents will be squabbling over their inability to either unify behind a candidate or, at the very least, learn to choose the lesser of two evils. Hopefully, before we reach the end of the campaign trail, people will understand that a vote not cast for one side is half a vote cast for the other.

Otherwise, I suppose we just have to make do with more political comic relief for the next four years — if we survive Pence handling COVID-19.

If you post disrespectful comments here aimed at the post, myself or anyone interacting below, your comment will not make it through moderation anyway and you will be swiftly blocked from the website. Don’t waste your time.

Honest opinions and respectful disagreements are ALWAYS welcome!

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19 thoughts on “Is Anyone Taking American Politics Seriously Anymore?

  1. This phrase “He had no response to that. The student rolled her eyes at him, packed her things, told me “Good luck” and walked out” literally made my Monday much fun😂😂😂

    I can’t even believed I imagine picturing this scene on my mind realistically😂😂😂

    1. Haha, there’s nothing like a feminist White woman enraged by a White man’s clueless display and misuse of male privilege. She sure showed him! 🤧

  2. The hyper focus on the presidential election is causing people to forget that there is positions on the rest of the ballot too. I live in NC. We have to vote for: Senator, Governor, House of Representatives, State Auditor, LT Governor, State Superintendent for Public Schools, NC Treasurer, and NC Commissioner of Agriculture. These are all equally important positions because it has more of an immediate impact on my life. Not voting is not a viable option in my opinion. Whether you like Sanders, Bidden, Bloomberg, Warren, whoever, voting is necessary. Not all candidates are going meet our precise ideal, but we need to pick someone.

    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly, Catherine! The primaries also just started early voting today in Georgia. I hear people saying they can’t wait until November to vote. Okay, but did you know you could vote today?? I really don’t understand how anyone wastes that kind of power to decide who represents them. And, as you said, the state representatives are even more important! I’ve been telling people that for a while. It matters more who runs your state than who runs your country. Kemp is one of the big reasons I’m leaving Georgia. This state is too red for me.

  3. i fear we will have 4 more years of trump…sigh.
    the american people have missed the point about what is politics. and the politicians know this and why they campaign the way they do the democrats have shown in their debates that they are attacking each other instead of bring up the issues. but then most americans dont know or care about the real issues. to get any sort of change we need to change those in congress. and our political process needs some change. besides, most americans really do not know about the constitution or bill of rights etc,

    good write!!

    1. I agree with you on all points, Buddy! Americans have no idea what’s going on. I’ve been asking a few I come across what they think of the current candidates and they don’t know who they are beyond Trump, Biden and Bernie. They don’t know what issues are being brought up and they have no idea what issues any politician stands for.

      These are people who have willfully chosen ignorance because they find politics to be “toxic”. I wonder if they realise politics has become toxic because there are so many people like them who choose to remain uninformed so the system can be as it is.

      Ironically, some of the most informed citizens here are the naturalized ones because understanding the constitution and how the government works is a mandatory prerequisite for becoming a citizen.

      1. I am a Canadian who spends winters in the US and I have a roommate who is an American woman in her 30s. She often asks me to explain American politics to her and when she was sent information about the current election there was so much to read that it overwhelmed her. I ended up giving her a summary of it and telling her who I would vote for if it were me! A sad state of affairs.

      2. ….oh my goodness! So much that it overwhelmed her, but you knew who to vote for?? Goodness! This is why following the news is important. It’s better to digest the bite sized pieces of the information than to try to eat everything up just as it’s time to make a decision.

  4. That said, almost every Bernie supporter I’ve spoken to who did not vote told me they considered voting for Trump. When I asked them why, they said, “Because it would shake up America.”

    This stupidity is repeated on this side of the Atlantic. In the wake of the massive Tory majority in December, I read a piece saying that the most hardline Labour campaigners love it when the Tories win so decisively. Why? Because when the next election comes along the situation will become so dire for a lot of people that they couldn’t possibly vote for more of it.

    As we say over here “turkeys voting for Christmas”.

    1. Wow! The explanation you gave is the same continued explanation of theirs as well. I wonder how they decide who’s worth throwing under the bus to suit their own political agendas??

  5. I’m torn about which is a more sad reality: the American politics that you describe – pretty accurately, IMO – or that you have to publicly warn people about “misbehaving” in the comments.
    I guess it’s about scale. Politics is bigger than a blog. Yet, without people wanting to enable their own worst impulses – like allowing themselves to spew hate and intolerance onto a blog that they could simply choose not to follow – we wouldn’t have the King of the Racist, Sexist and Homophobic Dipshits sitting in the White House right now with his closeted lapdog laying faithfully by his side while the founding principles of our democracy burn around them…
    Good post, I appreciate you putting a reasonable and balanced observation out there.

    1. Thank you! After pointing out the flaws in all three political subsections, a zero tolerance for trolling was a must. I just hope the rest of them find their senses by voting time.

  6. All of this was possible since the Republicans and Democrats closed any possibilities of opportunities for the Independents, Libertarians, Greens and other parties. I am not saying that Multi Party Democracy would be a cure all but the problems would not be severe. Also, the Conventional Corrupt Politicians of the Republicans and Democrats persecuted those in disagreement with them and provided boring policies as well as mediocre personalities.

    1. I don’t agree with everything you’ve said here, but I do take your point. Centering the campaign power between two parties does away with the benefits of checks and balances at the campaign level.

      In my birth country, we don’t decide the primary. The parties elect their own leaders. That way, the party people work together rather than against each other. I prefer that system as it ensures more unity in political parties.

  7. Not surprising. This 400-year American agenda has always been there. It’s no longer hidden and as you can see many are happy it has come to light. As you insinuated fearmongering will always will over hopes and dreams ;-(

    1. I see. Can you be more specific about that agenda and the specific fears highlighted? 🤔

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