People, I know the government is frustrating and infuriating and inefficient. I get that. I’m trying to think back to a time I didn’t think that. Let me think.
I was 8.
Do you know what happened when I was 8?
I’ve studied history. Not in college (Well, I did take the entire American History sequence in technical college.) Not guided by some pinhead with a microphone. Nope. I study history to study history, not shore up my political beliefs. Why? Well, here’s where I’m ahead of most of you on the subject. I do not serve my political beliefs. They serve me.
Seriously. When you do it the other way, you are treating your vote, your decisions, and view of how things should be done on a mentality that is fundamentally identical to how we pick what football team to root for. That’s right. There are Brits whose mental process of becoming a Liberal, a Tory, or something else entirely has more in common with whether they support Manchester United than any careful consideration of facts or questioning of the same tired assumptions we like to slap on our bumper stickers. It’s particularly onerous here in America because we have our elections on a schedule. Every two years, we are treated to campaign ads which contain slightly fewer facts than the average Greek myth. I say slightly fewer because most of those myths took place in and around Greece, which still exists.
We don’t have intelligent conversations about issues anymore. I know it’s been like this off and on throughout history, but lately, it’s pretty bad. Really, since when is listening to Glen Beck a “careful reading of the healthcare bill”? Answer: Never. Just because a moron with a radio show says he does his research doesn’t mean he isn’t lying about it. And it never means that you actually did research.
“So, Jim, if you’re so smart, what’s the answer?”
Simple. I am a political atheist. I don’t believe in your ideological gods or the false idols you watch on TV or listen to on the radio. I don’t read history or the news to confirm my beliefs. If I make an assertion about something, I know damn well that reality might contradict it. That’s why I spend more time listening to classic rock on the radio than some racist drug addict or a burned-out ex-sportscaster, either one with rage control issues.
You should do the same.