Month: November 2014

Meaningless Infotainment


Look – I am happy your team won its little sporting match on the news/infotainment/reality networks. I get it. I love media and entertainment as much as the next guy. I just find real sports so much more exciting and Shark Tank is much more relevant and enriching Reality TV. I just don’t understand why people get so passionate about politics these days. The election winners last night have as much an influence on your life as the winner of American Idol or Survivor.

So the Republicans won the midterms (like 2010) and it was viewed as a total repudiation of the Obama administration (like 2010.) The narrative is the Democrats are clearly doomed in the next election. It’s a good thing Obama isn’t running again – it could be an embarrassing defeat. I mean it could be 2012 all over again and . . . oh wait – see – media loves the fact you have short memories. This is why most people have checked out of this – especially on the midterms. Elections are reality TV making up for lost Ad revenue. Hell, even watch the Weather Channel instead. More interesting, better story lines, and it is more likely to affect you directly.

On a more serious note – Tip O’Neil was spot on when he said “All politics are local.” My interpretation of that is while you are sitting at home munching popcorn and rooting for one of the same two teams in order to have bragging rights, there are people making decisions that will significantly affect you – behind closed doors or in sparsely-attended meetings. Where? Right in your town or city. Your HOA. Your City Council. Your County Commissioners. Your Zoning Committees. This affects your daily life. Ever looked at your telephone bill lately to see the local taxes you are paying? How are the roads in your neighborhood? Did that bond bill you happened to flip a coin to decide actually provide funds to build schools in your area or simply create a slush fund that could appropriated to buy IPads.

The reason Obamacare is such a lightening rod is probably because it has been the one government issue in recent years that actually affected many people. It affected me indirectly. My Cadillac Health Plan got switched over to a high-deductible HSA. Did Obama steal my health insurance. No – My health care plan changed because my employer changed it. Is that an indirect result of the ACA? Likely – but Obama did not take away my health insurance. If anything Congress did. Was it a good decision for my company. Likely given the stock price (By the way, my stock gains have more than made up the shortfalls.)

The President should only have to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. The President is not responsible for my happiness, well-being, or success. Following two-year election cycles on a daily basis is a colossal waste of time. I know you all like watching MSNBC and Fox News and feel that you are part of the conversation. You aren’t. At least *they* are getting paid to do it. You? Well, I sure hope it makes you happy because it sure as hell ain’t productive and it sure as hell not making you any money.

Even the wars waged by George W Bush were secondary actions resulting from a massive terrorist attack. When we discuss the dichotomy of life before and after the events of September 11th, we don’t refer to George Bush. We don’t say “Before George Bush, we could get through airports a lot easier.” We say “Before 9/11 we could get through airports a lot easier.”

Oh . . . and to the 40th person for whom I have had to endure rantings about how you lost your job because of Obama – Reality check – we are all surprised it took you this long to get fired. You lost your job because you either suck at your job, did a job that is no longer worthy of the pay you receive, or you simply got caught up in an algorithm. The worse thing you can do is to continue to delude yourself into thinking that your employment is truly tied to the events of last night.