‘Let the games begin’ should not be our political objective

Miriam Nelson
News Editor

Sadly, many people view politics as a winner-take-all type of game. I suppose a lot of that attitude has developed over the years and comes from our political contenders and the rhetoric they spew forth, hoping to elicit a herd mentality to bring voters to booths or keep them away in droves. Our system has become money-driven, and getting the Republican or Democratic party to support you means access to financial support and money to make it through a long election process. Being on a winning team seems more important than making significant change for the greater good.

In my mind, it’s become a sad state of affairs when we as voters are so constantly bombarded with misinformation that we can’t seem to make an intelligent decision.

People like and need to feel an emotional connection to something; it doesn’t matter if it’s joy and bliss or if it’s anger and rage. Feeling equals living, and we all want to think our existence is important.

It used to be mouth-to-ear gossip was the mode of transportation for manipulation and misinformation. It was personal and upfront, but you could also consider the source, check the tone in what was being said and read the body language of what wasn’t. It was easier to determine if you truly wanted to believe what you heard. You then had to make the decision of whether or not you wanted to pass that information — and to which friends, relatives or enemies.

Now, with the influence of the internet, there is no longer that face-to-face interaction. You no longer see how you may have cut someone to the quick with a brash and reckless opinion. Sure, some people may respond with a retaliatory response and a battle of words ensues, but we miss out on the opportunity to connect on a more personal level. You also miss out on the opportunity to be kind, compassionate and respectful.

It used to be that our representatives in Washington spent more time together, because travel wasn’t as accessible as it is now. They got to know each other, talk about their concerns and come up with solutions together. Now the work has shifted from doing the work of governing the nation to the work of getting reelected. It’s more important to win than it is to work.

I try not to censor or unfriend any of my internet connections. I have friends and acquaintances who are very vocal about their political opinions. Some I agree with, and some I don’t. One thing I’ve found interesting is that the people on polar opposites of the political scale often have the same basic belief system. They will put out a feel good thought, or a common sense type message that addresses a core belief about the importance about being good, fair, kind or respectful. As long as it doesn’t have a political choice attached to it, I will share it.

I like to get my information from a variety of sources. It’s important to me because the world of information is oftentimes propelled for its entertainment value. It’s hard to form an opinion if you only follow one point of view.

I’d like to say I’m excited for this election year, but I’m not quite ready for the negative campaigns that have already started blasting away. Still, I hold my right to vote very dear and hope the rest of America can remember we need to be voting for the greater good, and not our “favorite” team.