Politics is like Facebook.
Yeah, I said Facebook.
Ok, I hear you saying “What in the world do you mean, Boothe? Politics is like Facebook? No way!!
Let me explain.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook can be great; it’s useful; it fulfills a purpose. It allows people to connect that otherwise would not be able to do so or, at the very least, would have great difficulty doing so.
But let me tell what it also does or rather what it has become. It has become a substitute for real life. It has become a substitute for real human interaction. It is a façade. It is fake. And it paints a picture of a world that does not exist. It is often used to show you a projected image designed to alter your perception of either the person presenting that image or to cause you to feel about a particular subject in a desired fashion.
Are you feeling me yet?
In our country (merica) we have two political parties and their job is to convince you that you need to think the way they do; you need to see things the way they see them, and, most importantly, that the ‘other’ party is not only wrong but they are also the spawn of the devil (or whichever malevolent diety/entity in which you currently believe is the yang to your yin). Admittedly, Facebook has a way to go to catch up but it is relatively young. This politics thing has had quite a head start.
The point of the matter is that the intention of politics is to move your focus from a place where you are connected to all fellow humans and everyone is equal in their worth and in the love they give and receive to a place of ‘this is me and that is you’; a place where ‘my thoughts/beliefs/stuff is better than your thoughts/beliefs/stuff. Anyone that is not you or yours is ‘the enemy’ and ‘does not measure up’ and of course must be destroyed lest their opinions be actually heard.
Whoa, excuse me. I drifted there for a bit.
So back to Facebook. And to be honest, it’s not just Facebook but most of Social Media. So much of it has become an artifice not only designed to portray an almost perfect utopian image but has become the defacto method of communication for many. For why would one want to actually interact with a fellow human being on a very personal face to face level when there is the remote possibility that they may see through your façade and get a glimpse of who you truly are and see your true intentions and motivations.
Oh, the horror!
Which brings me back to politics. Circles within circles within circles…
Politicians are very, very good at what they do for the most part. After all, if they aren’t good at their craft they don’t get reelected. They have the ability to do what the average person does on Facebook every day, but do it in person. Face to face. That takes skill. That takes dedication. That takes an enormous ability to engage in subterfuge of the highest level. A politician’s intent is to move you from a place in which your natural inclinations or beliefs guide you to a place where their projected image becomes your guidepost, becomes your objective, becomes your reality.
Welcome to the machine (to quote a very popular songwriter of my generation).
© 2014 Stephen Boothe