Why I am avoiding politics on social media

1920-cartoon2A few minutes ago, I posted my first non-sarcastic political comment on Facebook in months. It reminded me of one of the reasons for my self-imposed exile.

… and the cycle continues… replace a few words and your comment could have copied and pasted from 2009.
Is it a matter of my age or accumulated wisdom or my built-in bias (maybe all three)?
I don’t know if we need to get the money out of Washington or if term limits would be the answer but we need to address corruption and we need to stop falling for the divisive tactics. Also, we need rainbows and unicorns.

And there you have it in a nutshell. Nothing changes. Very few of us believe we are going to change the world with a post on social media, but most of us hope we at least can move the needle, even if slightly, and even if only with our friends and family. Moving the needle because our collective hope and we post. And we argue. And we lose friends. And we ruin Thanksgiving (again). And we stress ourselves out and scare ourselves to death and surrender our peace of mind to a point of view: That if we don’t stop The Others then They will destroy everyone’s way of life and everyone’s future and They will continue causing suffering and pain. We can’t let the Bad Guys win! We make these sacrifices in hopes of nudging the needle. Even if a little. Even with just a few people.

The needle does move. And more than just a little. It moves a lot. One hundred eighty degrees in fact. All of our screaming and posting and sacrificing our peace has flipped the needle in the exact opposite direction we intended.

In 2009, the Democrats were trying to fix a collapsing healthcare system that was causing suffering and pain and that would destroy everyone’s future. In 2009, the Republicans were obstructing and fear-mongering and misleading and dividing us. In 2009, the sensible center begged the Republicans to come to the negotiating table. In 2009, the Democrats told us that it was no use. The Republicans hated Obama and they would not in negotiate in good faith. So in 2009, the Democrats did it alone. To end suffering and pain and to save our future.

In 2017, the Republicans are trying to fix a collapsing healthcare system that is causing suffering and pain and that will destroy everyone’s future. In 2017, the Democrats are obstructing and fear-mongering and misleading and dividing us. In 2017, the sensible center is begging the Democrats to come to the negotiating table. In 2017, the Republicans are telling us that it is no use. The Democrats hate Trump and they will not negotiate in good faith. So in 2017, the Republicans will do it alone. To end suffering and pain and to save our future.

I wonder what they’ll say in 2025.

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