Why This Military Spouse Hates American Politics

Why This Military Spouse Hates American Politics

Why This Military Spouse Hates American Politics

I am perplexed that elected officials don’t seem to care and that voters continue to vote against their best interests. This alone would be enough to hate American politics. But alas, there’s more. American politics is neither fair nor balanced. That’s one of the many things you learn when you travel abroad. Recently, it’s just one of the things I find disturbing about America as a black military spouse.

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long-lines-at-the-polls Why This Military Spouse Hates American Politics

Through the Lens of Travel People are Lazy The 24-hr News Cycle
FOX Noise Long Election Cycle $$$
Everyone Gets a Vote Does Your Vote Count? Elected Officials
Lobbyist Unending Campaigning Diversity
Hyper Partisan Two-Party System Short Collective Memory
Cruelty Disguised as Legislation    

Why I Hate American Politics

It’s Constant Drama

You get a chance to see the politics of other countries– a chance to see American politics from a distance. It’s an opportunity to see it through the lens of other cultures, languages, religions, and most of all– distance. Note I’m not saying other governments have it locked down. We know that’s not true. And I’m not even saying democracy isn’t messy. Because it is. But lately, our government races from one controversy to the next without hitting a single speed bump. I am exhausted– overwhelmed by the pace.

The administration introduces legislation via twitter. Lies and innuendo have replaced truth and facts. Family members can’t sit down to a good meal without fighting. We actually have something akin to a state news channel. Politicians have become hyper-partisan. Money rules and patriotism is a cliche used to stoke division. Honestly, I prefer living in South Korea. Or anywhere outside of the United States– during election season. Here are the reasons I hate American politics.

People are Lazy

Unfortunately, this is not news. You’ll read this post and come to your own conclusions. And that’s okay with me. What follows is a combination of fact and opinion. The question is whether you’re able to know which is which?  I’m not so sure about the collective. The American electorate is too easily led by sound bites and catchy slogans. You’ll have to do a little work for knowledge not spoon-fed to you my news executives trying to increase their air buy rates.

The 24-Hour News Cycle

News is happening all over the world. Unfortunately, most of what we see is orchestrated for ratings. See the above to really find out what’s happening in the world. I listened to the current president say the Democratic debates were boring. He said they had low ratings. Honestly, I miss the boring days of politics. I miss it when the only scandal was when the president wore a tan suit.

Related– read my essay on Why Travel Belongs in the Political Section of the News.

FOX Noise

I can’t watch much Fox News. I watched Shep Smith who quit. And I watch Mike Wallace from time to time. Almost everything else is just political commentary which is just noise and does nothing to further debate. Its main focus is to give cover to the current president and to make money selling silver ingots and other products to its viewership. These people are louder than any other commentators on TV. And don’t believe the hype. FOX is a false parity to anything on CNN or MSNBC when the underlying commentary is based on lies or half-truths. Matter of fact, there have been a few studies done. They suggest Fox News viewers are less informed than people who don’t watch any news at all.

The Election Cycle is WAY TOO LONG

And that would be cool if elections lasted a month or two long like the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the US election season lasts more than 2 years. How ridiculous is that? And it’s getting longer with every election.

It Takes a Lot of Money

Most people hate American politics because the people who run are considered elitists. So-called dynasties seem to flourish in the political realm. They are not their next-door neighbors, co-workers or family members. Consequently, the money needed to run a successful campaign is astounding. And this fundamental truth explains why we get the same kind of candidates every election cycle.

Everyone Gets a Vote

Frankly, some people shouldn’t be able to drive a car, raise kids or walk and chew gum at the same time. Let alone vote for the President of the United States. I know it’s wrong, but I’m just saying.

vote-here-yards-signs Why This Military Spouse Hates American Politics

Everyone’s Vote is Supposed to Count

Normally this would be the ideal situation. But it’s not for a couple of reasons. The population of the United States is about 327 million people. The age structure of the U.S. population hasn’t changed in 10 years. Fifteen percent of the population is 65 and older, 19 percent is younger than 15. And the residual 66 percent is aged between 15 and 64. However roughly 60% of the electorate votes. The youth vote is not reliable, so the older electorate gets more say than they should get.

The US was established as a representative democracy. So the politicians are supposed to represent the constituents who elected them. That does not happen. Most politicians vote for their own self-interest for several reasons. So in effect, voters are denied representation in a representative democracy

Elected Officials Voting their Own Interests

The US was established as a representative democracy. So the politicians are supposed to represent the constituents who elected them. That does not happen. Most politicians vote for their own self-interest for several reasons. So in effect, voters are denied representation in a representative democracy.

Lobbyists

In America, we have organizations called a lobbyist. Aside from money, lobbyists are the worst thing to happen to politics. They spread money around to get politicians to vote the way they want. And that doesn’t keep politicians from accepting money from competing interests. As a result, very little legislation gets passed, i.e. health care, gun control, or immigration. And if it does, it’s watered down so much not to offend the lobbies or actually be effective.

Always Running for Office

Because it takes so much money, they are always campaigning for funds. Notice a theme? This also leads to a lot of campaign promises.

No Term Limits

The President can only serve two terms, but members of the house and senate can serve indefinitely. There are 6 current members who have served 40+ years and 8 more with 30+ years in office. Lol, guess who has to vote to change this?

lack-of-senatorial-divesity-in-America Why This Military Spouse Hates American Politics

Limited Diversity

Have you seen Congress? Diversity is the best it’s ever been and that’s not saying much. There are 541 total senators and representatives in Congress. If you consider just two identifiers (race and gender) ou understand where I’m coming from. This lack of diversity contributes to a lack of understanding or basic empathy. And ultimately enforces the status quo even though the world around them is changing.

Hyper Partisanship

We live in a highly charged environment where one side is more apt to demonize the other side. They’re more apt to brand them the “enemy of the state” rather than have rational discourse. Some politicians would rather call each other names rather than debate the issues. And they’d rather present” alternative facts” rather than acknowledge responsibility or the difference between fact and opinion.

This hyper-partisanship extends to the voters who continue to vote against their best interest if it means less money for the social safety net– which btw– most of them need. This includes single-issue voters who against abortion, immigration, or tax increases.

Two-Party System

There is just NOT enough ideological distance between the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States. However, unless there are major changes to the way we debate this won’t change. Ultimately, third party candidates are either throw-away votes or disrupters. Therefore, they are never viable candidates who can actually win.

Short Collective Memory

Public opinion can be shifted with real or perceived information. And even though elected officials often fail to serve their communities. However, they are rarely removed or held accountable in the next election cycle. I believe voters have short memories even if its something egregious if they like the person.

protect-kids-not-guns Why This Military Spouse Hates American Politics

Cruelty Disguised as Legislation

Surprisingly, legislation involving kids in cages, having a decent education, or being malnourished is often dismissed in the name of excesses in the social welfare programs. Guns are protected, but not kids so they can ultimately kill more kids. I believe we are all entitled to the basic necessities of life– food, clothing, and shelter. Now if you want Armani, that’s entirely a different story.

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  1. Stacey Peters

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