I have had a spectacularly awful day. Really, I’ve not been doing so good for a while, but today I’m sure wasn’t all in my head. I’ll give you the highlight first: Navigating rush hour traffic with my wife on the way back from Conshohocken. I felt at peace.
The low point was definitely Pottstown, where I had to visit schools and churches while being large, hairy, greasy, male, and wearing a stained shirt. Felt pretty creepy. Also, Pottstown is a shit-hole. So don’t go there.
But here’s the kicker! On my way back, work half-finished (So I could take wife to Conshohocken) I saw a sign that read “Say No to American Socialism!” American Socialism. Ain’t that a thing.
Now, I don’t think of myself as an extremely angry person, though I probably am. I definitely do not enact angry thoughts. I fantasize, because that’s part of my job description, but I’ll tell you, never have I come so close to enacting violence against an inanimate sign. Might not sound big, but it is for me, and that’s when I realized that I suddenly care about politics.
I blame West Wing, for the most part.
But the sad thing is that the West Wing feels idealized. It’s not that the job looks easy, or the people are more attractive than in real life. It’s that there appear to be people with good intentions. There don’t seem to be that many bad guys. Real politics don’t feel that way. Even the dudes who appear interested in creating a better world seem to have secret motives. Maybe I’m paranoid, and I know I’m disillusioned, but it feels like politicians are evil and the public is stupid.
In high school, I ran a class presidential campaign aimed to mock the system and the concept. I took the second most votes out of the five-person race, but ultimately the right person won. I like to pretend that is because I voted for her. However, what if the right person won the race because the votes from people who didn’t care were all drawn away from the people who just wanted their popularity re-affirmed? The girl who was winning before was popular, and that was it. The girl who won over me was not popular, but she was dedicated, smart, and apparently interested in the betterment of the class. Now this is all purely hypothetical, because I’m sure my joke campaign was not that influential. But in real politics, could it mean something?
Imagine the tea party floats a nominee in 2012. Let’s say Sarah Palin, for shits and giggles. If you were a person who voted because you like to fill in dots and feel important, isn’t that where your vote would go? That would create a strong third party candidate, one that drains all of the noise from american voting booths while allowing the real candidates to do some work. Maybe at the same time, through some whining from the tea party, some folks would start questioning our restrictive, lesser-evil, two-party system, and there might be some real change there. Alternatively, the tea party could win, and we’d all know that America’s fallen and sneak into Mexico. I hear it can be pretty over there.
Any way, this is all wild hypothesis, but I like the idea that all this crazy could actually help clean up this country’s politics. I like the idea that there might be hope somewhere.