Politics has become a team sport. I like to avoid politics like the Plague. It’s always a tumultuous topic. And opinions are like assholes—everybody has one. But lately, it seems like the assholes are winning.
I adored my grandmother, but she helped me understand the mind of the voter. I eventually described her as: If there was a turd in the road with the label of her team on it, she would vote for it. Never did the thought of voting for what was right enter her mind. She was an avid Yankees fan, but if a Yankee ran for office without her branded mindset, I suspect she would have discarded that Yankee. When I broached a political issue, a defiant gleam took over her eyes, and I knew enough to shut up and silently gnaw on my words. Yes folks–politics has become a team sport
Now I do mean branded—line up the cows and bring out the hot iron that has been sitting in the fire. Calves have been raised from birth to tout the team (party) line. Thinking has become a thing of the past. Nobody has time. Survival overwhelms the need to think of anything else.
Now to be fair, I don’t have a “team.” What I see in the USA alarms me. Two top collective contenders have emerged and built an arena which excludes opposing views. Elections are controlled by these contenders. From what I’ve seen of other countries, many parties are allowed to compete. Not so here. Media is, indeed, controlled, and we are left with the scraps. Power reigns here—not The People.
Have you ever really noticed how adept politicians are at deflecting? Ask a politician from any team a pointed question that they do not want to answer and they deflect. When the question is redirected and becomes more pointed, they deflect again. When it is revealed they have not answered the question, they deflect yet again. Do they not realize they have answered the question through artless redirection?
Wait. Stop. See what happens to me? I am an “issues writer. Something grabs me, and I simply have to write about it. Something like the Millies (and Mikes) of the world in https://www.bebee.com/producer/@joyce-bowen/the-price-of-compassion, or anything about kids like https://www.bebee.com/producer/@joyce-bowen/this-side-of-life-discusses-the-meaning-of-troublemakers
I write about what’s wrong with the world, and it haunts me. I am always grabbed by stories reflecting what’s right with the world because they are so few. I am engulfed with hope at these times. I loved putting together https://www.bebee.com/producer/@joyce-bowen/breakfast-with-a-bee
When I read folks like Ali Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, Gert Scholtz, Robert Cormack, they are respites in my world. Ahhhh–I can breathe. There are so many good writers on beBee. I loved https://www.bebee.com/producer/@joanne-gardocki/focusing-the-dragon. What a breath of fresh air.
When I write about issues, my hope is not to shake the world, but to make a small dent. If I can make a dent, I have done what I set out to do, and I am heartened. I most often take a journalistic approach and get to the point. My trainers taught me that a reader’s attention span is limited, so to go into a looooooooong tirade won’t get the job done. I limit myself to a two- to four-minute read. I have done longer pieces, but those involve interviews, and it was important to give those people a voice. I’ve sometimes made pretty damn big dents. Giddy moments to be sure. But it’s often true that for every two steps forward, there is one step back. I try not to think of that.
I am a student of human nature. My experience has taught me that there is most often a backstory. Sifting through what’s important is second nature to me. I have had people tell me things that I do not reveal. Discretion has gotten me far. When I see the whole story, I can get to the bottom of things quicker. It’s a grind.
Perhaps the bottom line is different to you than it is to me and that’s your right. But if you want to discern the bottom line for yourself, I suggest you do the work and get the whole story for yourself. There are collective bottom-lines out there that I try to break through to help get things done.
In the end, I have made dents—both in my thinking, and the issues I have raised. It leaves me with a smile on my face.