Monday, October 13, 2014

School Bus Politics

Over the weeked I saw a Republican Delegate comment on Facebook that "you know the world is upside down" when Democrats express concern about taxes.  This was one of the many snarky vague-booking remarks that serves as political commentary during silly season

The commentator seems unaware of their own irony.  You're the reason the world is upside down.  Pretending basic matters of governance, such as the propriety of taxes and responsible spending, are the sole provence of one political stripe over the other is precisely what is wrong with our political system.  And aren't Howard County Republicans going out of their way to celebrate cross-partisan action this year?  Isn't that the brand that they are embracing with the hope that blue voters will do the same on their ballots?

Politics can often feel like a school-bus.  Not the "wheels on the bus" kind.  The bad kind with mean kids in the back.  One of them thinks of an insult, hurls it, and then the others congratulate them for their wit.  The insult means very little in the grand context of things, but it means something to the insultor and the insultee.  The insultor feels powerful; as if they expressed a manner of ownership over another person.  As our mothers taught us, these people are insecure and they need to find their value in contrast to others.  The insultee gets to decide whether that value attaches.  For all intents and purposes, it is a closed system.

But it doesn't have to be a closed system.  We can see these people for what they are.  Not bullies (we need to stop overusing that word), but rather insecure little kids who have little else to offer.  It is amazing just how vapid most political speech can be when you evaluate it for substance.  "What have they added to the conversation?  What problems are they looking to solve?"  When you ask those questions and come up empty, you're looking at kids in the back of a school bus.

This seems like a drawn out way to call someone out, but it isn't intended that way.  I could not care one tiny bit less about what someone needs to say or do to make them feel like "their team is winning".  But we can all raise the bar a little bit.  What have we added to the conversation? What problems are we looking to solve?

Have a great Monday doing what you love!