Politico writer, Kevin Baker recently wrote an article titled, “The Politicization of Everything.” A testament to the fact that we have all somehow found ourselves discussing politics with colleagues, family members, significant others, and even strangers in traditional h*** no situations for politicking. Like at a club. Yes, that’s happened.
Baker points out what’s going on:
“Thanks to social media, and to the nature of our new president and his administration, politics is suddenly with us always, in every aspect of our lives, including wherever we may look for diversion…It’s understandable that many Americans are taking his actions personally—they feel the consequences pervading their lives.”
I love politics and global affairs. I’ve studied it for years and geeked out at conferences from Blacksburg, Virginia to Cambridge, UK talking about the implications of the Snowden revelations or the cultural meaning behind a shoe being thrown at a U.S. President (a golden moment in our history based on hilarity alone).
But even I can’t take this anymore, and it’s only been 12 days. Maybe it’s because I’m torn between a liberal and conservative world on a very personal level, and have been for years. I hear all sides – all the time. Something my academic persona urges everyone to do, but my normal persona begs for it to stop infiltrating Facebook. I feel like I’m battling insanity, emotional distress, and the appeal of running away to a no-wifi, no-signal, no-news zone of the world every single day.
I’m not saying to be politically unaware – in fact I (might) mildly judge people who aren’t aware of what’s going on. Why? Well, because it matters and if you live in a democracy, you should be grateful that you have the ability to voice your opinion based on information made available through the tenets of a democracy.
But “politics” and “politicization” are two very different things, and right now we’ve reached peak “politicization.” As Sonny Bunch argued way back in 2013 before the clock struck thirteen (oh, those were the days):
“A politicized life is a different beast, however. It treats politics as a zero-sum game or a form of total warfare in which the other side must be obliterated. It alters every aspect of your being: where you shop; what you watch on TV; what sort of music you listen to; who you associate with. If you’re not with the politicized being, you’re against him — and if you’re against him, he is well within his rights to ruin you personally and economically. You, the political other, are a leper to be shunned.”
So for now, I just deleted the Facebook app from my phone; banned myself from talking politics with anyone during the week; and restricted my news intake to just one hour in the morning, and one hour in the evening (before 8pm) – which for me, is basically no news at all.
*And as suggested by my boyfriend, my goal for this weekend is to buy a book that has no relation to history, politics, and/or global affairs. A stark departure from the items that currently sit on my shelf (to give you an idea here’s a few: War and Peace, The Testament of Youth, The Secret Life of War and 50 Political Ideas).
So, let me just say this will be my last political post for awhile. Or at least, until my head almost explodes with the need to rant about another insane episode in the latest version of America – and indeed, the world.
Besides, as my Italian-Canadian friend reminded me the other night. Italy survived Mussolini and Berlusconi (it’s own billionaire icon). So, we’re good you guys.
Let’s just all take a second, and step back from the edge. And look at this picture of a cute puppy.
Really serious about taking a second? Check out this emotional flood exercise led by the famous motivational speaker Tony Robbins, at Oprah’s Lifeclass.
WARNING: You’re about to feel things.