I used to be a little bit smart. I kept up with current events and made an effort to be informed on the issues of the day. I knew the names of my senators, congressman, mayor and governor. I knew the location of obscure places in the news (how many people know where Niger is?) and the names of the leaders of lots of countries.
Chalk it up to age, loss of interest, the increased complexity of the world and issues today, and perhaps most of all my disgust and exhaustion concerning politics in our country today.
I am becoming ignorant.
I should care, but (sigh) don’t.
My tolerance for the constant barrage of nothingness pounding my brain 24/7 expired. It is unhealthy – my blood pressure rises, breathing increases, my hands begin to sweat, my heart pulsates rapidly, and since I cannot throw a pie in the face of anyone or scream at the top of my lungs – these actions will do no good - I am severely limiting my political and current events reading, listening and discussion time. I do not want to burrow my head in the sand never to come up for air, but don’t ask my opinion about what’s going on in the world…
Guilt made me go to the polls, however, on Primary Election Day. Voting is a deeply engrained habit I do not want to end. One day the state of affairs pervading today’s political scene will pass because everyone did not throw up their hands, succumb to the madness and walk away.
My local Congressional seat is up for grabs – the 24-year incumbent is retiring – and the district is considered a swing district. But I am disappointed in the election results. The Republican winner is a solid Trump supporter, and so will never receive my vote. The Democrat (Jeff van Drew), on the other hand, is too conservative for me. As a New Jersey state legislator he voted against requiring Presidential candidates to disclose tax returns, against requiring increased use of alternative energy, against increasing the minimum wage, against legalizing same sex marriage…was awarded an A by the NRA for his pro-gun voting record and 22% from Clean Water Action, the lowest score for any NJ state senator.
I do not understand why the local Democratic
machine organization endorsed his candidacy. (I voted for one of the three people running against him in the primary).
My November vote will be a disheartening one – I will not vote for a Trump supporter (the Republican candidate), so will reluctantly cast my vote for the Democrat. A third party candidate might throw their hat in the ring but would (most likely) not have a chance of winning.
Maybe things will change in two years.