Commentary: There was a time not long ago when people were not totally obsessed with politics and political soap opera. Local and state elections came along and people learned about the candidates for a few weeks and voted and that was it. The presidential race came along less frequently and you’d see the candidates on the evening news for a few weeks before the election and then you voted and that was it. You didn’t see or hear much about these folks beyond that and everyone else out in the real world was quite fine getting on with their lives.
Now, it’s twenty-four hour politics for 365 days a year. There’s no place to hide anymore. People want to know which side you support as a kind of litmus test as to whether they can continue a conversation with you or whether they have to immediately send you to some place of oblivion of their choosing.
It started in earnest with national talk radio show hosts who would rail against the other political party they didn’t like and speak all day long about how horrible the other side was and how wonderful and perfect their political party was. We’ve been living with that nonsense for forty years now. Media corporations merged and most all local programming was terminated so additional stations could carry these handful of loud voices over more of the airwaves. Now there are thousands of stations carrying the same vocal tones and opinions of a minuscule handful of self-appointed Americans who seemingly possess all truth. These opinion molders invaded modern society with a vengeance. Cable television then adopted the same sorry play book of overhyped and hyperventilating partisans bickering all day about how great their side is and how horrible the other side is. And the internet is infested with it. Really, how many times do you need to see this same old story plot line over and over and over? It was played out decades ago.
But a lot of people seem to love it and so this sad game goes on. The corporate media giants are making their money. The self-appointed truth arbiters get huge salaries to find ways every day to somehow breath life into this worn out plot line that long ago lost its vitality and relevance. People turning on the radio love to hear others reinforcing their own narrow political allegiances. Lost in all this is everything else that is important in life that gets sidelined or ignored because politics uses up all our time and energy. Also lost is the fact that all this this mouth exercise accomplishes almost nothing worthwhile.
Religion is defined as a set of beliefs about the purpose of the universe. Faith is defined as an obligation of loyalty and trust to a set of beliefs. It doesn’t take much looking to see what people today actually treat as their true religion and faith. Their actions tell the tale.
There is an old saying that all things are best in moderation. This no longer seems to be the case when it comes to politics in America.