You hate all the candidates? Blame yourself first.

I typically expect to see the same kind of trends when I log on to social media. Besides the seasonal stuff that transcends a holiday, NFL playoffs, weather conditions, and so on. I’m talking about the dog pics, those never, ever, ever, never annoying/always cute baby pics, and the Twitter retweet about someone enjoying some type of food or drink, usually taken and tweeted while driving down I-40. Since a Presidential election year is upon us, I’m seeing plenty of social media noise about various candidates, issues, viewpoints, etc. While I’m typically one who prefers to keep my entire lot of opinions all to myself about politics, I thought I’d go write an open public blog, express some very specific opinions, then spread it vigorously throughout all social media. (btw: #BlogOfWar)

Most of the links, retweets and posts I see are about hating mostly on two people: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Which pretty much guarantees that these two will be the Republican and Democratic nominee’s, respectively. I guess it’s a karma rule or something. You can hate one candidate, but two? Too far. Karma’s too busy to pay attention to someone who has high levels of hate for people of such opposite extremes. So, you have no one to blame but yourself.

On a side note though, even if you hate Trump and Hillary both with an equal opportunity kind of hate, you gotta admit these two in a debate will be epic! You can truly never tell what may come out of The Donald’s mouth at any time at any moment, especially when provoked. Hillary seems to come up with some of the most bizarre, extreme far left PC muddle she can find throw at opponents. Just last week, she accused Bernie Sanders of racism because he is not for reparations, because Sanders concedes that the chances of getting it through congress are “nil”. And Sanders would know, he’s only had his name on two bills that he proposed and sponsored that actually got voted through. Okay, 3 bills. But two were for a designation of a U.S. Post Office in Vermont. The other was a cost of living adjustment bill for veterans. Not bad for 25 years of congressional service. Regardless though, it may be the first presidential debate in history where one of the candidates calls the other one a ‘dumb bitch’, and it’s basically a toss up as to who will say it (or probably more accurately, who says it first).

Okay fine, so you don’t like Hillary or Trump. And you aren’t a part of the group living in a celestial socialist Oz that has fallen for the Bernie Sanders hipster train wagon. Fine. I’m not here to push my own choice, even though I may offer up why another choice should be completely and logically off the table (like I just did). But to allow yourself to get frustrated and disingenuous with the voting process, both federal AND local, is a huge mistake. Before you give me the mid-read eyeroll, don’t worry. I’m not going to try to bring back the “Rock the Vote” campaign that should’ve been obvious in the first place before parties started nominating real old establishment guys that we didn’t recognize.

No, my point is that you should feel totally important enough to join this conversation. It is not above or beneath anyone of us. And I’ve noticed that the current theme now is people complaining that they hate each and all of the candidates who are running. Really??? At one point, there were like 14 politicians still campaigning and debating. You can’t find at least one that you like? That seems a little strange to me. Have you been watching the debates? Even one? Do you regularly try to catch at least a little of the news? Oh, so you work. How many cable news shows with candidate interviews did you seek out and record on that DVR? None, why not? No space available!??! Well, I suppose it would be disappointing to delete an episode of the ‘Real Wives of Johnson City, TN’ until you’ve seen it at least twice. I understand.

Just in case you didn’t catch onto that thick sarcastic tone, I mean to say that you can’t really like any of the candidates if you don’t know any of them. I can look at a group of ten beautiful women, all lined up waiting for me to pick one to take out on a date (this typical occurrence in my daily life is called a Tuesday). But no matter who I pick, I probably won’t find a person qualified to be President of the United States. And NO, this is not an example I use to say that women aren’t capable of being president. I’m using the example of selecting a girl to date by just a mere glance at her. But, it doesn’t work that way when picking the guy OR GIRL who you want to vote for. Duh, right? Well, then put down your cell phones and look those debating dems and reps in their big, blue plasma screen eyes, and listen up. Get involved with it. Despite their reasons why, the networks and politicians do make it interesting to watch sometimes. It’s okay to laugh at their blundering and shameless bidding's, as long as your paying attention to the important stuff, too.

Don’t sweat it, we still have a long time to go until November, so plenty of time left to catch up. Which may prove valuable, as I’ve heard plenty of people say that they don’t like any of the candidates because, well, they just plain don’t like any of the candidates. Not even one! Or, maybe you like one, but you’re not sure. Perhaps, you’re just disillusioned by politics. Maybe think these politicians wanna tax too much, too little, or not enough to the right people. Too pro-choice or pro-life? Gay marriage: legal or illegal? Should we build a wall? Should we build a better relationship with Syria? Ugh. Like I said before, don’t sweat it. You’ve got around ten months till Election Day. If you allow yourself to get turned off by these overly ambitious political leaders and stop paying attention, who wins? I mean, do you think people who hold political office would rather you pay more attention, or less? Think about it.

Of the reasons out there that I’ve heard from people who just don’t know or don’t care, the feeling of disillusionment is what seems to keep most voters at home on Election Day. Which becomes a form of self-serving protest — you stay at home and slip into your pajamas and don’t give the “man” the satisfaction of your participation in the voting process. Staying at home and not voting is a bad idea. If you really don’t like any of the candidates at all, you need to start thinking about why. Because if you stay at home and waste your valuable right to vote, then you’re just plain not getting your money’s worth as an American. Start paying attention to the nominee’s and what people say about them, what’s written about them. What you MIGHT find is that you realize there’s a candidate out there that you DON’T like very much, and therefore DON’T want to see running things. Then you can go pull that voting lever for the rival of that disliked candidate. See? The power of a single vote even includes spite. That’s just like dating! Only better, because politicians are have term limits.

It’s our job to learn about the candidates, otherwise they’ll set the narrative on themselves. Those narrative’s will always be a fabrication. 99% of the people who aspire for higher office have an extreme sense of overconfidence in themselves based on agendas that is ego-driven. That’s not always something to automatically demonize. Leadership needs to have a bit of an ego-driven force behind it, to push them towards a standard that makes them better (or, in some cases, worse). Quite frankly, we should embrace and accept the fact that people seeking office will have commonalities that include the fact that they are usually rich and have very healthy confidences in themselves. How else can you explain a person having even the slightest notion to make a run at a high government-elected position. Particularly the job of president, the most visible, powerful, scrutinized job in the entire world, in the richest, most technologically advanced and developed nation consisting of 330 million citizens. So if you let them define the narrative, they’ll tell you anything you want to hear, as long as you pay up with that vote, which is like currency for them.

I hear people show disgust by claiming that all politicians on both sides of the aisle are corrupt, greedy swindlers who are owned by the big special interest groups and lobbyists. This is just not a true statement and quite typically an excuse for lazy, ignorant thought. Some politicians are corrupt, no question. But to sweep all of them in the whole process into that mix is just a myth. It is exactly why it is important to get more involved. To perceive which candidates are delivering confusing and slanted messages. Find out what motivates their political stances and agendas, and why.

How? Get involved early in the election processes. Find out who else is supporting them, more specifically, who is donating to their campaign causes. You can very easily find out who these support PAC’s (political support committee’s) are donating to. PAC’s are organization’s that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for (or against) candidates. At the U.S. federal level, an organization becomes a PAC when it receives or spends more than $2,600 for the purpose of influencing a federal election. So transparency to these groups and where those dollars are flowing can be pretty telling about candidate’s stance on their platforms. Not all candidates that use these funds have bad intentions or use these funds with shady conditions attached. Some candidates, such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, do not use PAC’s at all. Finding out early on in the process will cause you to help narrow down the noise and concentrate on getting into what you believe in.

I’m telling you, these aspiring politicians want to get elected so badly it’s scary. We own the the currency that they need. That currency’s value is never higher than on the campaign trail. Find out what you can about the candidates, especially at your local level. Information on local politicians can be somewhat limited or challenging. Just be resourceful. You’re capable enough to find out. If you don’t, then just retreat into this pathetic ideal of ignorance and laziness, usually made it the name of greedy selfishness with your time. Which is ironic, because it displays the same kind of hypocrisy are accused of the politicians. Which is, that politicians are ego-driven selfish people only fueled by money and their own agendas. Only replace the word ‘money’ with ‘time’ in that description and now it applies to the disinterested non-voter.

So, who are these politicians a reflection of?

You own the currency. Just make sure you spend it, and spend wisely.

#BlogOfWar

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