Monday, November 5, 2012

The theater of politics

Yes, like everyone else, I can’t wait for this election to be over. Even though I am not at all sure I will like the outcome, and even though the election may not be over when the votes are counted.

And I too wish the campaigning had much more substance. I yearn for the debating to focus more on issues and less on personality and ideological pot-shots. Like everyone, I am disheartened by all the billions spent, by all the ugly sound bites, by all the half-truths and words taken out of contest.

But I have a confession to make. As sick as this messy, brutal campaigning makes me, I am fascinated by it! Sure, it’s like not being able to take one’s eyes off an accident, but, as a lover of the theater, I love watching the drama. As I recently told a friend, I like drama up on a stage - not in my life (although, yes, the result of an election may well cause drama in my life). I eat it up.

What’s more, like all good dramatists, like all good theater lovers and artists, not to mention good writers, I am fascinated by human behavior. And isn’t politics all about human behavior? Politics, after all, is people getting power, how they get power.

I often hear people say that they are bored by politics. How can they be bored by the way people use words and facts and, yes, twist words and facts to get power? It may well be ugly and even obscene and sickening, but it is definitely never boring.

I also, as I realized recently, read many articles in the newspaper not for the news content, which I more often than not already know, but to see what people say about it. I am fascinated by what people say and think and all the more so when they don’t say and think what I say and think. I am interested in what makes them tick. I know too many people who aren’t interested in this, who don’t want to even know what “the other side” are saying and thinking - which is exactly why things, including elections, are in such an gridlocked, polarized mess these days.

One more thing: If Romney wins, I’ll move to London or, far more likely, just keep being weird - and weirder.


  1. Hit the nail on the head once again my friend. Book a window seat for me!

  2. I will say it the way it is for me John, it is probably a noticable trend to agree with you just because it is fashionable to be as well read as one wants information and judge appropriately, but there comes a moment of clarity when a person needs to argue just for the sake of disagreement. Not that two people can't agree, but philosophically you probably would not have to have politics if there was not a need to mediate differences.

    The issue of politics of course to me is a passion and more so in my blood than more or less nobody wants to hear. But after saying that, I do agree, without politics there would not be a concern for anything other than paying bills and living standards. I just am inspired to write my own blog by your inspiring blogs.

    go to darylsbelching.
    Love, Daryl