The etymology of the word as provided by that outstanding linguist, Tommy Smothers, says it all… “poly” meaning “many” and “tics” meaning “blood sucking vermin”.
It is a grievous thing to observe the media pump out hate speech 24/7. In truth it doesn’t really matter what side your on… democrat, republican, liberal/progressive, conservative, etc. Hating someone because they don’t subscribe to your political philosophy, on its face, is ludicrous. Yet, here we are, more divided than I can remember for the six decades of political history lodged in my memory bank.
Of course, one side blames the other for the hate, which somehow justifies their hate. In the meantime, the media gets rich off of the poison they pump into the atmosphere. After all it’s all about ratings and it seems the more outrageous the higher the ratings. Think about it… if everything were peaceful and quiet they would have nothing to report, nothing to exploit, no one to harangue. The media loves it when things get stirred up. All those political commentators, on both sides, only have a job because they know how to stir up their base. And how we love being stirred up, we listen to “our” side, whether it be Fox or MSNBC, hoping for another juicy morsel to confirm our worst thoughts and feelings about the “enemy”, the “wrong” side of the political spectrum. We ask our like-thinking insular group of friends, “How can they be so stupid?” Hours and hours spent in front of the tube, or on our laptops, or phones. It’s a national addiction. It’s a spiritual experience. The question is from whence does this spirit hail?
It seems to me that the current political climate is getting worse by the day, maybe by the hour. It, also, seems that this political storm will likely culminate in violence. If the President gets impeached there will likely be protests on the right. If the last President and the last democrat candidate for President are charged with corruption all hell will break loose on the left. No matter who takes to the streets the other side will no doubt have some in their ranks who feel the need to respond in kind. Essentially we are looking at a civil war which is now in the “cold war” stage, but could blossom into a “nuclear” conflagration at any time given the right triggering event.
In light of this unhappy political landscape I have a question. Do we really believe that the politics is that important? Do we really believe politicians are running this country? This world? Really?
All of history would indicate otherwise. It’s always been about power to amass wealth. The truly powerful place their minions where they need them and run things from behind the curtain. Somehow we Americans in our ethnocentric naiveté think we are different. We see America as God’s political gift to the world, the first constitutional republic complete with history’s greatest Constitution. While I would agree that we have enjoyed the blessings of the Almighty, to somehow think that the country operates based upon the principles we are taught in our high school civics classes is just beyond the pale. If you have had the opportunity to work in or around government, as I have a various times in my working career, you will see a much different side of how our country actually operates.
Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh was a political hack of the first degree. He served in the California State Assembly and was the State Treasurer for many years. He was no altar boy. He was irreverent, vulgar, but he told the truth. He was made famous in political lore by such quotes as, “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” And, his view of lobbyists: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them you’ve got no business being up here.” Of course his political career pre-dated the media as we know it. He, and his cronies, got away with much that was never reported in the newspapers or in the 5:00 news.
Politics is still a dirty business. We all know that. Why is it dirty? Because politicians are “persuaded” to act as they do because they are either bought off or leveraged in some way. Period. Look behind each of the Presidents from 1900 on and you will find lots of ugly skeletons. Some a lot more than others. Both, democrats and republicans. Yet we want to believe that the people on “our” side of the political aisle have it right and are pure in their motivations. Please. How do people get elected to Congress, making a salary of about 200 grand a year, serve a few two-year terms and retire wealthy?
I’m not conspiratist but how much do you know about the Council on Foreign Relations? Sounds like a governmental body. It is not. It was founded and funded in 1921 by the very rich and powerful to protect and forward their agenda. Since then 21 secretaries of defense, 19 secretaries of the treasury, 17 secretaries of state, 15 CIA directors (in just 70 years of existence), and several presidents have hailed from the Council on Foreign Relations, irrespective of whether they identified as Democrat or Republican.
David Rockefeller, one of the founders of the CFR, admitted the following in his memoirs:
“For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
How about the Federal Reserve? Founded in 1913 via federal legislation signed into law by Woodrow Wilson. Sounds truly “federal”, as in a federal agency or department. It’s not. It’s really more like a private bank and is owned by private individuals, many of whom are not U.S. citizens, yet they set U.S. monetary policy. There is a lot more behind the Federal Reserve, but my point is that the CFR and the Fed are just two examples of agencies that appear to be very democratic, even governmental, but they do not operate as such.
Ultimately, my point is you and I have very little say in how this country operates. Am I suggesting we should not participate? By no means. Vote. Get involved, especially locally where we can make a difference. But, let’s not get sucked into the media circus that produces so much vile hatred for one another. We all know that one of the really unfortunate facets of social media is that people say and/or print things that they would not say to another person’s face. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to stop before we hit the “send” button and apply a simple test before we publish our thoughts to the world? “Would I say that to their face?”
Don’t get sucked into this media generated civil war. Turn off the TV and get off the internet. Think about it. How do you feel after you have spent hours, or even minutes, listening to or reading the drivel they call “news”? Happy? At peace? Warm and fuzzy? Rested? Joyful? Do yourself a favor, instead of listening to political crap call a friend or talk to your kids or have a cup of coffee with your spouse or your significant other. Go plant some flowers. Take a walk in the woods. Go ride a bike. Read a “good” book. In short, take your life back and do something healthy for yourself and those around you.
The next time someone wants to ratchet up the political rhetoric why not artfully, graciously let the air out of the balloon and refuse to engage. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Do you remember the clarion call of the hippies in the 60’s, “Make love, not war” and “give peace a chance”. Just because your brother votes for the other side he is not your enemy. And who is your brother? Jesus said, pointing to the mass of people before him, “These are my mothers and brothers.”