Saturday, November 1, 2014

Adam de Sokol: Democracy In America

Tuesday is election day. I urge you to vote. Statistically speaking you probably won't though. And really that’s fine too. I used to spend a lot of time caring what was going to happen on election days. When I wasn’t worrying about upcoming elections I was worrying about what happened last election cycle and how it was affecting my day to day life. If people were in office that I didn’t care for I’d spend 2-6 years just angry at them for being in there. The thing is my day to day life was the same. They weren’t in there passing anti-Adam Sokol legislation. Elections are very important events that can dramatically change the direction of the country over the next couple years, and with that in mid I urge you not to spend too much time caring about it. It’s important don’t get me wrong, but there are too many people who spend too much time caring about what happens. They spend all the time between election cycles being miserable, and if it doesn’t go well they get even worse. Worse yet sometimes you have to spend time with these people they’ll make you miserable as well. Part of the problem stems from the fact that people just don’t understand our system. So, as a holder of most of a political science degree from a real university I will give you some things to keep in mind about our democracy.


Listen, it can be tough. I understand that. You feel very strongly that the world should be one way, and it’s not. You’re sure that you’re right and if only everyone would see things your way then the world would be a better place. Thing is, everyone thinks that. You don’t have a monopoly on conviction. When you’re at the dinner table try to remember that sometimes people vote differently because they’ve had different experiences and have different values. This happens sometimes. It's okay. Your dad wasn’t bought and paid for by the the Koch brothers and your daughter wasn’t brainwashed by her liberal professor. So how's about you just say "fuck it" and talk about something else. Instead of blaming each other for the miserable state of everything why not just ask about movies or talk about baseball.

That politician you hate is probably a better person than you think.

Regardless of who you voted for both of these guys are probably pretty nice

There’s been a trend over the past while where you can’t just not vote for someone you have to think of them as the enemy. There are a shitload of pundits who make a handsome living whipping you into a frenzy. When really that politician who’ve been told by either Rush or Maddow to hate because they're destroying the country and must be stopped at all costs is just some asshole who’s trying. You might not agree with them and that’s fine, but they’re not trying to destroy the country. They’re doing what they think is best so just try to think of them as just another person who’s trying. They put their pants on one leg at a time. Then they go to work and help destroy the country.

The politician you love is probably a shittier person than you think.

Regardless of who you voted for both of these guys are horrible blood sucking monsters

People running for office are generally egomaniacal assholes. You vote for the one you vote for because that’s the one who’s lies resonate with you. I don’t want to get all Ralph Nader on you, but both parties are run by jackasses who really don’t give a shit about  you or your stupid problems. If you vote for whatever party you vote for because you think they care about your issues, you are very much wrong and should grow the fuck up. Also Ralph Nader is also an egomaniacal jackass who doesn’t give a shit about your problems either. He’s just not successful so folks think that he has integrity.

I view my major party vote as a protest against this assholes like this

Maybe this isn’t the country for you.

America was founded on people who didn't care for how a country was ran so they left it for another one. This happens. You have no control over where you’re born. Your parents lived here and now you do too. America has had a pretty specific economic and political system for a while now. I’m not one of those “love it or leave it” assholes, but if you find yourself jealous of countries with strong-arm dictators or bemoaning the fact that America doesn’t have a parliamentary system perhaps you’d be better off living elsewhere. Just for your own sake. It might lead to a lot less heartache. Instead of trying to get this country remade the image of Uzbekistan why not just move to Uzbekistan! There's nothing wrong with choosing another country that you find preferable. Which leads into my next point…

There’s a good chance you’re wrong.

No offense, but this does have to be addressed. I mean who the fuck do you think you are? There are only like four people on the planet I will just assume are right. You sure as shit are not one of them. A lot has been written about how efficient large groups are at decision making. Often when a number of people independently reach the same conclusion, the prevailing answer is the correct one. Even though this isn’t always the case if you find yourself on the losing side of every ballot initiative and political race (probably while longing for a nice refreshing Josta) then maybe you’re just not correct. Everything you believe. The values you hold dear. The way you look at the world is just plain wrong. People are wrong a lot. Groups are usually good at making good decisions. But you’re not a group. You’re just a person. A person who’s wrong. 

Sorry, it's science

For fuck’s sake, RELAX!

The question you’re supposed to ask yourself whenever elections roll around is whether or not you’re better off today than you were however many years ago their basis of comparison is. You may or may not be, I don’t know. That’s a shitty question though. The question you should be asking yourself is whether or not you’re really naive enough to believe you’d be that much better if the other asshole was in there. Things would probably be largely the same. Unless you’re in the military or an abortion provider who the President is or who the Senate Majority Leader is won’t really mess with your day to day life. 

So vote on Tuesday. Then forget about it, go out, and live your stupid life. 


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