A Never Ending Political Cycle
November 24, 2021
I recently had a conversation about how the political cycle never really pauses anymore. For my generation, this is par for the course. CNN launched not too long before I was born, so the constant news cycle is nothing new. You can tell, however, what drives ratings because the powers that be will beat whatever poor horse it is to death, ignoring other more relevant news.
In the early 1990s, it was the OJ Simpson case. My fifth grade class watched the verdict live. Our teacher figured it was something we should witness. Thinking back, it definitely ushered in the new era of politics over court cases. There is an old saying in journalism, “if it bleeds, it leads.”
That trend set by the Simpson case was front and center as Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted Friday, leading to the eruption of protests across the country by those who did not like the verdict. This stemmed directly from the BLM riots in 2020, which subsided slightly when Joe Biden was elected as president. It is a safe bet that issue will be back front and center in upcoming national elections.
One issue that did not lessen at all following Trump’s ouster was COVID-19 and everything surrounding it.
The main issues dividing left and right thus far have been over mandates. Does the federal government have the authority to force Americans to get jabbed with a largely untested vaccine, or to wear masks?
The jury is still out on that.
Some states say yes, while others, no.
Montana has fallen very solidly on the side of personal responsibility and choice. It is up to the individual to decide the best course of action for their lives.
For such issues as this, it is good the political cycle never sleeps.
‘Welp, the presidential election is over so everything is great for the next four years.’ Yeah right.
That is not a healthy democracy. Democracy is contingent upon vigorous discourse and debate. Americans will never agree on anything all the time. And, who would want that? Should the minority just slink away if their political party loses an election, and wait as things they fundamentally disagree with unfold until the next election?
No way. A politician doesn’t win office and suddenly have carte blanch to do what ever they want. They must remember their constituents have the power, and to do that, the constituents must constantly voice what they want,
In a perfect world, would it be nice to have a break from 2020 and 2021? So much yes.
But, that is not reality. If we fall asleep at the wheel, who knows what will be ushered in through the darkened corridors of Congress?
I do hope someday our country will recover from this debacle, from the constant fighting and deep polarization.
But, for now, such things are necessary.
Politics, unfortunately, are a war. A war without tanks and bombs. A war waged by citizens against each other in an idealogical setting.
But, this week, let us set aside our massive issues as we come together at Thanksgiving tables across the land.
As we dive into that noble bird with fork and knife, and layer gravy atop our stuffing, lets leave politics outside. I assure you they will be waiting where we left them next week.
In the meantime, let us be thankful we live in a free country where we are still allowed to voice our differing opinions without fear of arrest or assassination.
Now, someone pass the cranberry sauce...