While every headline brings us a new twist to this year’s struggle for the presidency, 15 people are working in the background to decide the direction the country will take. You didn’t get to vote for any of them. They were chosen. Unlike the next president we elect, when these people leave you won’t get to have a say in their replacements.
The man that perfected divisive “us and them” politics claimed to reject one of his favorite political weapons in a speech on policing in Chicago.1 Calling it “shocking” that candidates would resort to his own brand of divisiveness, President Obama blamed others for stirring up the same negative emotions that he is still using to bring in money and win votes by tricking people with their feelings.
Who decides what you believe about politics and current events? Is your opinion yours, or someone else’s creation? More often than not, the controversies we obsess over aren’t nearly as big as they sound. They seem important, but they don’t affect a lot of people. That’s because our opinions on popular hot buttons are not ours.
We expect corruption from foreign governments. Dictators, payoffs, and graft in South America and more corruption, terrorist infiltration, and money laundering in the Middle East are facts of life. When we hear about them we are not surprised.
Corruption is a fact of life here in America, too.
It shouldn’t be.
The difference is that we don’t snicker as much when the corruption is dumped on our back door.
If you think bigotry is all about skin color or religion, you are only half right. Bigotry is about intolerance. Intolerance can come from almost anywhere, including the voices accusing others of bigotry. Just because your intolerance is judged to be politically correct does not take you off the hook.
Popular opinion might lead you to think that some Republicans represent the epitome of bigotry.
Drugs come in and out of vogue. This makes things fun for those who abuse them and interesting for those who make it their mission to stamp out drug abuse. Heroin and prescription drugs are big now, or at least that’s what we hear from experts who claim to know about these things. Methamphetamine might still be popular, but it is not quite as efficient of a killer so it doesn’t have the same press appeal.
Kim Davis doesn’t deserve to sit in jail. She deserves to be replaced, an awkward task for an elected official, but otherwise her actions are hardly worthy of our attention. This isn’t a religious freedom issue, no matter how much we like to twist that concept (see: Business, Religion, Sex, and Fools Don’t Mix). This is a legal issue and whether some members of our society like it or not, laws are rules meant to apply to everyone.
What do the Zadroga Health and Compensation Act, 21st Century Policing, and a murdered policeman in Houston have in common? They speak to our current national uproar over the first responders we turned into heroes after 9/11. With another anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks approaching, the image of police as heroes has been tarnished by politics.