Last week I saw a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of: The day after the election, your kids will still be your kids, your home will still be your home, the sun will still shine, and butterflies will still flit about fancifully.
Or something like that. I don’t remember who posted it, so I can’t find it to validate the accuracy of my impression. In any case, the meme was telling us, “Don’t worry; none of this matters anyway.”
To which my inner lobbyist was shouting, “No! This does matter! Elections have consequences! Governments do real things! And you have more power over them than you realize!”
I understand where the meme’s creator and the multitudes who share it are coming from. This election has shaken people. Ideologies are in flux, loyalties are shifting, and opinions that were once shushed are now voiced aloud. Some find the situation thrilling. Many find it disturbing.
For the latter camp, it’s tempting to treat this campaign, and indeed politics overall, as a television show that can be turned off. It’s a topic to be weeded out of a newsfeed, a fad to be ignored, something as disconnected from our real lives as Justin Bieber and the Kardashians.
Except it’s not.
2 thoughts on “Let’s Not Tell Ourselves That None Of This Matters”
Completely agreed. Much of this attitude is exhaustion; how much can you continue to care when the campaigns last forever, and each one is advertised as the apocolypse? But this one really, actually is different, and elections can have real, lasting consequences.
Absolutely. And I think the exhaustion applies, too, more broadly. I think it seems like there’s so much going on in the world that we can hardly keep up, let alone do anything about it. So we don’t think of even trying. Totally understandable — but still dangerous.