This is not a post about the demonic nature of political spending and the saturation of negative campaign advertisements on my television each night. I wrote that post yesterday, and it is currently sitting open on the bottom of my computer task bar. That post is filled with harsh words and extreme ire and aggravation.
Because I am intensely aggravated by the current election. I’m disgusted by the name-calling. I’m alarmed at the good guy vs bad guy narrative. I believe that in real life, most people are okay guys. There are very few who are utterly bad or purely good. But if you watch the political ads you would be convinced our political candidates are all characters developed to take part in a badly written melodramatic story.
Even in my own unfinished occasionally badly written manuscript, bad guys are not all bad, and good guys are not always completely good.
People have nuance.
But apparently in politics there is no nuance.
If we object to what is being said we are defined as an angry mob determined to rob others of their free speech.
If we question the way money is being spent we are obstructionists.
If we raise the possibility of a different way to solve a problem we are called unkind names, and we are banned by social opinion from ever eating quietly in a restaurant with our families again.
Clearly bad guys don’t deserve to be served food.
I wrote that post. I included a scathing description of the score keeping of political contests and the fact that points seem to be counted up by dollars.
The contestant with the most dollars is the winner. That seems to be irrevocable fact. After all, you can count dollars so that gives you hard data. Money is a definable measure by which the public can determine who is winning and who is losing.
And winning and losing in our current climate is everything.
Sharing ideas appears to be wishy-washy. Flip-floppy.
I’ve been informed through political ads that I am not Texan enough for Texas. My voice is clearly not deep enough. I don’t speak like I am tryin’ to clear my throat of trail dust after bringing in a herd of longhorns. Plus, I don’t have a Texan accent. Additionally, in order to be Texan I apparently need to have a horse, or at least a truck.
So, I guess I am not Texan enough for Texas.
Plus, I keep thinking of what could be done with all this money being raised for campaigning. Every day I receive emails asking me to make political contributions, and even though I have opinions about the way I would like this midterm election to go, I keep hesitating to contribute money. Because what happens to this money? I guess it goes to producing ads that call people names and undermine their legitimacy to speak.
It would feel like I was supporting the kid on the playground who keeps bullying everybody.
Wouldn’t that money be better off going to charity? Research? Food banks?
I’m going to start doing that. Every time I’m asked to contribute to a political campaign, whether I support a candidate or not, I’m going to contribute to a charity instead.
Maybe that will do some good.
Anyway, instead of posting the diatribe of ire and outrage about political spending I had planned, I’m going to tell you about the closet cleaning I have engaged in over the past few days.
I’ve taken out bags of clothes for donation. I’ve recycled dozens of hangars and plastic bags. I’ve given away shoes. I’ve cleaned out trash, and I can now walk into my closet and know for the first time in over a decade what is in there.
I am not quite done. It is a long process.
I can hear the deep Texan voice from the TV advising me how to vote, but I am no longer listening. Instead I am standing in my peaceful closet. I am basking in the accomplishment of achieving order out of chaos. I’m reminding myself the elections will be over soon.
Maybe things will get better after that, but if they don’t, I still have my drawers to reorganize.