Friday, 9 March 2012

Random thoughts caused by American politics

If uninformed comment on foreign politics leaves you cold, kick back and admire this beautiful amaryllis that's blooming on my kitchen windowsill instead of venturing any further.

Of course, we have our own political problems over here, but I have two reasons for taking a dismayed and wavering interest in American politics: the first is that I have family who are directly impacted, seeing as they live there; the second is that for better or worse, the teenager on the world stage that is America, holds a scary amount of influence across the world, and it helps to keep an eye on that kind of power.

The problem is, I can't give it enough mind space to really get my head around it. It's far too negative, and I struggle to find anything amongst it all I can get behind. This is probably because one thing I do feel quite strongly about, is that you should not vote in a political party that bases its campaigns on hatred and intolerance. And, er, hatred and intolerance seem to be everywhere in American politics. Maybe I'm not being fair, maybe that's just what we hear about over here because it makes good, salacious news. I dearly hope so, because frankly I'm left cold by the negative and nasty campaigning we hear about. How can you be expected to pick anyone you'd want to rule your country out of that writhing mess of negativity?

I don't think religion has a place in politics, and another thing that dismays me about America is the ugly face of religious intolerance in American politics. And it is a very ugly face. Misogynistic, too. At best it provides an insidious distraction from real political issues; at worst, it could actually end up informing legislation to the detriment of the populace. Doomful.
I heard an opinion the other week, just a passing snippet on the wind, no idea where from, but the gist of it was this: that America was not founded by people who wanted freedom from religious intolerance so much as by people looking for the freedom to practise their own religious intolerance. It's possibly a bit harsh. On the other hand it could explain a few hangovers that seem to exist to this day.

Take all of this with a pinch of salt. I mostly exercise myself over politics over here, that directly affect me. What American politics I hear about seem rife with the problems above, but it has all been embellished on its way to my computer, tv and radio by hungry journalists eager for a story at any cost. It's just a pity it's such a turn off.


  1. The media, and, even worse, the "new media" (blogosphere and 24 hour news cycle) makes it much worse than it really is. We indeed only have a one party system, with two wings. There is virtually no difference because, once in power, whomsoever wins becomes the embodiment of Dicken's Office of Circumlocution (Little Dorrit, Chapter 10). Don't worry about it ... it's all cheap, political theater noise, signifying little.

  2. I think America is behaving much the way Britain did a couple of hundred years ago. Everyone hates us for it now - but nobody learns from the past.

    1. I've read so much more about it since I wrote this. I hardly dare read it again, though I think I feel even more strongly about some parts of it. I might have to do a political one, take 2. Thanks for the comment :0)