Presidential Politics, Part 3
Presidential Politics: Part III — “What the hell do we do now?”
by Mister Twisted
I started to write this article in the vein of the last couple, whereby I would give a rundown of the candidates and how ridiculously bad they all are, but I confess, I lost motivation — and creativity. The simple fact is, I’m sorry.
Why am I sorry? Because I work in politics. And the sad reality is that the political process and what it produces saddens the shit out of me. I talk to people on a daily basis that plead with me by saying things like “why can’t you send out plain, well-written arguments that lay out the facts in black and white?” You know what? I would love to. But the unfortunate truth of the matter is that politics is not about ideas; it’s not about who has the most logic on their side or who has the most well-reasoned argument. Very little of that even matters because it’s about something else entirely.
It’s about marketing.
I’m not joking. If you want to learn how politics truly works, watch a few episodes of the HBO series Mad Men. Now take out the hot red head and that’s what politics really is — sending messages to people through various sources of media that they will ultimately respond to.
It’s the exact same methodology that companies like Pepsi, Nike, Coors, and Ford use. They can’t make an advertisement that lays out all the logical reasons why their product is good because nobody would respond. Instead, they use hot girls, edgy photography, hip music, and a cool catch-phrase to get your attention.
The end result of all of this being, of course, that you see numerous commercials and receive countless emails telling you that the world will, in fact, come to an end if you do not vote for them or their cause. They operate on the premise that you won’t give them money or vote for them unless they scare the crap out of you.
Possibly even more depressing is the reason why political personalities and groups do this — because it works.
Consider that the average American does not study history, has little interest in politics outside their immediate realm, and was never part of the government or those charged with protecting it (hence the .45% Ranger Up shirt). The average American is not what we would call “informed.”
Another way of saying it is, if you’re reading this, you’re not an average American.
You were probably in the military or in law enforcement (or at least know someone who is); you probably take the time to read something every day; you like to be informed; you care about more than just the score of the game; you have drive to be better. If you didn’t have all of this, you wouldn’t come to a site named “Ranger UP!”
So where does this leave people like you and I? People who know that things can be better but are aggravated to no end about the process required to get it that way. I used to carry an M4 through crappy village after crappy village for my country, and now I’m writing fund-raising letters for political causes making less money than I was as an lowly NCO. And that’s saying something. I have to go to a Brazilian jiu jitsu class and have my 300 pound Black Belt instructor kick my ass on a regular basis just so I can feel like I’m doing something.
My point is this: We’re not normal. People who hang out on sites like this and find humor in things like Tim Kennedy answering his door with an M4 and having a plan to kill everyone in the room are a minority. Unfortunately, some of us start feeling pressure to change that “abnormality” in order to conform; to start down the long, dreary road of “compromise.”
Just don’t do it. Embrace the fact that you know more about the world and find “political incorrectness” funny as shit sometimes. Be arrogant about the fact that you know what’s right and you are willing to fight for it. And don’t let the marketing of politicians and interest groups tell you otherwise.
Be informed. Be smarter than the ones running for office and those helping them — it’s not hard, and you’re probably already there. Just don’t feel the need to change it when they say “well, that’s not how we do things here…” The reality is, it should be YOU who are telling them how “we” do things here.
Don’t accept the platitudes of politicians telling you that we need to “compromise” to get things done — we don’t. Call them out on their stances. Check out what they have actually stood for — and more importantly, voted on — in the past instead of listening to them speak or debate. Refuse to accept their fancy speak and slick campaign slogans — vote for what they’ve done, or don’t vote at all.
There will, as usual, be a huge campaign for people to get out and “just vote.” Nonsense. Here’s the blunt truth: crappy politicians who don’t represent you don’t deserve your vote. Make them know it.
Politics, in its essence, is about the adjudication of power. But here’s the ultimate irony: those who understand sacrifice, those who aren’t afraid of the world out there, those who challenge themselves to be better, we already have power. We just need to be careful in who we let share it.