The political noise machine

I’m writing this on the night of the first big debate. Name another country where two old dudes over 73 are about to go wild on national TV. And then we all get to vote for them. It’s insane. It’s crazy. It’s electric. It makes no sense.

But you also can’t find it anywhere else.

Hilariously both candidates may not even know why they’re saying what they’re saying or how. But maybe that’s the beauty of it. Ignorance is bliss after all. Maybe it’s what we signed up for. We’re an entertainment nation.

The media, the TV, the political organizations, people with motives to profit off you, all want your anger and your attention. Click their ads, read their stories, donate to their causes, yell and scream. There are more than 330 million people in this country. The majority are working so absurdly hard. Hustling, grinding, and building. When I was traveling Europe, a fairly big executive said to me “I always find it amazing how hard you Americans work. Does no one take it easy?”

I think a lot of people lose sight of that in the political echo chamber that surrounds us on all major TV networks and social networks. Everyone works hard, worries about the issues around them, and has no idea how to relax. Maybe way too many of us think someone else holds all the keys to our problems. That’s why we watch their shows, read their articles or share their viral videos to think the world is burning down every 30 seconds. Because somehow we let them make us think it actually is.

I lived in Washington DC for a number of years. Not far from the White House. I once went on a 4 mile run around it and the entire national grounds with a friend in the DoD. The sun shining and tourists everywhere – it was a remarkable day. We had a great conversation. One thing we talked about was the sheer size of the White House. If you’ve ever actually been there, you know how it’s not really that big. Maybe a few hundred people work in it. There are 330 million people in the US spread around all 3.7 million square miles of the country. We have yet to comprehend just how free we are on land this big. Anything else is theatre.

So I write this post because, as election season begins, and the debates start, no matter how bad or cringeworthy they are or how much arguments and anger you think they cause, you are still absurdly free to do as you please on a really big piece of land with 330 million other people all trying to do the same. And if you get really upset, remember, at least we have a Senate and a Congress.

That dude on TV over the age of 73 isn’t going to change your life as much as they want you to think he will. Because the second you start thinking like that, the second they won’t get their views and clicks.

Note: I believe voting is essential and constructive political debate is always needed. The point of this post is simply to point out the division and anger so many people lean toward by misunderstanding and sensationalizing something that’s not nearly as polarizing as it should be. You are more free than you realize and the things they want you to debate you most likely already have.