Why Does Everything Devolve into Politics in America?

You could post about puppies or a lemonade stand and sooner or later, it will turn it into a political divide.

I have a theory. Ego.

As much as people claim they hate labels, they don’t. People love labels so much that if these titles were human, they’d be whisked off to Vegas and married in a little chapel by Elvis.
For the sake of this article, I’ll say “we” (but I kinda mostly mean you.) We define ourselves with a variety of tidy markers that make sense to us and others. Liberal, Conservative. Vegan, Paleo. Christian, Atheist. Straight, Gay. Actor, Builder. Mother, Father. Husband, Wife. And so on. Some people even allow their illnesses to define them.

Part of why a breakup can be devastating is because we’ve lost our identity. We’re no longer a girlfriend or boyfriend, stepmom or stepdad. We’re set adrift, left to gather ourselves. We can recover like a party animal or an athlete. Some jump right back into anything, immersing themselves in destructive behavior in order to avoid feeling lost. Others reassess and get healthy by leaving the hurt area alone to heal while working out other areas instead.

I digress. When a discussion on social media about ANYTHING turns political, it’s nothing but ego. This is a person asserting their label rather than “I” into the conversation.
And depending on the tone, it often means, “YOU are the problem. I am not. I am better than you.”

The reason we get offended and engage rather than staying silent and/or rational? Because at some deeper level, we recognize that this person has insulted us. They’ve shit on who we’ve decided we are.

There’s an enormous difference between reacting and responding. Most of us lack the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture in a neutral, removed fashion. We lash out and cling to our beliefs because they ARE us. They define us.

But they don’t have to. It’s a choice. And if my theory is correct, you have the choice to recognize this next time someone turns a casual discussion about buying patio furniture into a split sided political argument.

There are 2 types of people: Those who want to know, and those who want to believe.

Everything is an exchange of energy. Currently, we’re a fractured country and we all know we shouldn’t continue down this path. Too many would rather be RIGHT than happy, which lends itself to the anxious and hostile energy many have been experiencing.

Hurt people hurt people.

If only one person gets something out of this, the time spent writing was worthwhile.

Carry on.

-Written by April Hunter

Author: themuseherself

I'm a girl trying to find her way...and enjoy the ride along the way.

4 thoughts on “Why Does Everything Devolve into Politics in America?”

  1. Some really great stuff here. What I would frame as ‘breakfast conversations’. You know, lots of food, lots of coffee… You know, like on a roadtrip with daily stops at Denny’s along the way…

    Anyway, I agree with the ego bit…to a certain extent. I think there are a few more elements at play. (But before I get to them, I highly recommend to any and all, ‘The Political Mind’ by George Lakoff. https://www.academia.edu/23242851/The_Political_Mind_A_Cognitive_Scientists_Guide_to_Your_Brain_and_Its_Politics_by_George_Lakoff)

    So I believe that we’d also have to look at a) Insecurity & fear, b) tribalism, c) intelligence (or lack thereof) and finally d) generosity-of-spirit, AKA ‘do unto others’, ‘just be nice’. But mostly a) because of the opposite of Love being Fear (and not Hate as is commonly thought. And really, who wants to be common…?)

    Wow; maybe my efforts at anti-prolixity are paying off. LOL

    Like

    1. Thank you!
      I agree with you. For the sake of quick reading, I keep this short and to one basic thing: Ego/labels.
      I could have listed a lack of empathy, an unwillingness to listen and consider and change an opinion based on what was presented, the infamous American lack of world experience…most don’t travel. Cancun doesn’t count. Since travel is the greatest education one can get, that puts the USA at a decided disadvantage and leaves us quite ignorant of the ways of the rest of the world. Yet, we’ll argue about that stuff as if we know. We don’t.
      True opinion comes from only two things: Experience or education.
      Not being spoonfed to us via someone else or a screen.

      Like

      1. The last time I checked…and admittedly, this was some years back…the percentage of Americans who held a passport was almost unbelievably low. I’m going to chalk this up to the basic tenet of the country’s existence being predicated on ‘not wanting to be anywhere else’. This alone is the best argument for a massive effort to get young people out into the world on ‘gap years’ by way of a re-jigged, re-imagined modern iteration of the ‘Peace Corps’ volunteering writ large. Because I don’t believe the Internet is sufficient to expand worldviews.

        (Oddly, I know that when I lived in England for the better part of a decade, I actually learned more about my home country than I did about Britain.)

        Like

      2. So things have gotten much more interestinger since we last ‘chatted’. (I won’t list the developments, I’m sure you’re as cognizant of them as I am.)
        And for me, what keeps poking me at my noggin with something pointy as I consume news media is (putting ‘Boy, oh boy, are the Republicans going to get spanked this November!’, or ‘I can’t believe that people continue to analyze King Douche against the backdrop of normalcy!’) the ignoring/forgetting/being willfully-in-denial of pretty much every journalist, reporter, pundit or broadcaster regarding…

        …the American public.

        Now, I say this as a Canuck whose family lived in the US until recently, when both my brother and mother passed within nine months of each other (Here, you may be wondering ‘Why did he bring that into the conversation?!?’), as someone who is a very interested, wholly objective observer.

        2020 ain’t 2106. Hell, 2020 ain’t 2019, or any other time between King Douche being elected, and now. So all the ‘reminding’ people of the pitfalls of taking a D win for granted by mainstream media is irrelevant. So if anyone thinks for a second that the American public en masse, writ large, in toto will let anything stand in their way of making sure everything is done correctly, that it will stand down and accept anything other than a fair election just hasn’t been paying close enough attention this year.

        Seriously, Trump et al won’t know what hit ’em, come the results of November 3rd. (Which in all likelihood will not see a result declared that evening) And it won’t be because of anything more complicated than the American public rising up…and voting.

        Like

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