Why Politics Is Hazardous To My Health!

I need to stay out of the political forum and away from twitter! That is my declaration and I’m stickin’ to it…I think. It causes way too much frustration with blindness, ignorance, partisanship, lies, fake news, and just irritation in general. Twitter is no better. As a “word merchant” 140 characters only adds to the frustration of not being able to say it all with so few words. Don’t worry, I was never able to be very successful with the 6 word life story either.

Even more importantly is how critical I was being. Not that I’m never critical, it’s just that all I seemed to find were things to be critical about. I was attracted like magnets to metal. The time and energy were given away to what? Was anyone paying attention? Did my comments and diatribe make any difference? At this point the thing about “pick your battles” intrudes on my thoughts. I’ve been out there with the big guns thinking I had some skin in the game. Not.

All I have is this little universe of about 40 people who seem to think I have something to say worth reading. Maybe they’re just looking for something entertaining. I wouldn’t have any idea as there’re usually just some “likes” with no comments. At any rate change is in order.

Writing is one of the ways to express what otherwise would get clogged up inside. Not being one to talk to myself, if no one is around this is the medium best used to get it out of my head and in a format that can potentially shared. What would really be cool is finding where that sharing would be most appreciated. That’s not to say those who do read my comments are unappreciated.

I suppose what I’m looking for is some intellectual stimulation. That place where some like minds gather. That was the idea behind the blog in the first place. So I guess it may simply be that I’m looking in the wrong places.

Forums have never been an attraction, as it seems they get bogged down. It gets too difficult to slog through the various topics and threads, to find something or someone to exchange ideas with. That may be my own impatience charging to the surface. An independent nature equally impatient tends to not be satisfied trying to fit in.

I need to stick with writing about those things I know, am good at, and experiences from life. Never having been in politics I am out of my league. Why did I ever imagine my words, or voice as it were, could began to be heard above all the other clamor out there? While a good experience, it was headed nowhere. The investment of time and energy were non-productive in a political sense. Writing about living in Ecuador, baking bread or cinnamon buns, making doughnuts, building recumbent bikes, writing eBooks, are areas where I have knowledge and experience.

So for those who may read this, I am making a vow to stay out of politics and stop listening to the news. This was a habit formed many decades ago, as I perceived news to be slanted, biased, inflammatory, with an agenda to manipulate. It hasn’t changed, in fact gotten worse. I was wise to ignore it. The idea was that if there was anything really worth knowing, someone would be bound to tell me. By the same token if it wasn’t worth knowing, my mind would not be filled up with useless information.

For decades Television has not been something I spent a lot of time watching. When indulging it was for the musical programs such as Idol, AGT, The Voice, or something like Property Brothers, WOBI, Cesar Milan or maybe one of the Discovery Channels. Time was never spent on any of the sitcoms as they were called. I’d rather watch one of the 400 or so DVD’s we have accumulated over the years. A repeat DVD is better than a sitcom any day. At least in my book.

It is rather funny when I recall as a kid back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, you couldn’t pry me from in front of the T.V. It generally got me in more trouble as I was constantly late for things. I think they call that an addiction. As all such habits, that’s one I have managed to overcome. It was about to get rekindled watching Fox News with all this political nonsense. So at this point I recognize the symptoms, and the nearly insatiable drive to watch more and more. That’s it. I’m thankful that one of the things in my life that is a diametric change from my youth, is discipline.

An addiction has one very dangerous characteristic that is unlike a habit. I think even the most ingrained habit does not compare with this one trait of an addiction. It’s also why I can respect the danger of getting caught up in that behavior again. While I don’t recall the technical word or name, it is simply explained like this.

When an addict stops acting out their addictive behavior, it comes at great expense. Second, minutes, hours and days of fighting against the urge are full of the slips, and starting over again. Then when weeks, months and years have been accumulated as being free of the addiction, it might be thought that the temptation is also gone. An addict, say an alcoholic, or any other, is never free. If they should “fall” as the term goes, they don’t start over from the beginning. They pick up where they left off.

It’s not like say, riding a bike. You learn to ride when you are young. The experience is one you never forget. If you should stop riding a bike in your youth, and pick it up again 40 years later, you may be wobbly at first but you never forget how. The same expertise you had as a youth may never be reacquired, but you can still enjoy the experience.

The addict simply steps right back into the addiction where they stopped. It may take several days, a week or a month, but the behavior only progresses. This is why only 10 percent of those coming out of a long term rehab are successful at staying clean. Even of those, other habits are often just a replacement for the addiction and can become addictive. There was no intention to get off on that topic, it just happened.

All this mess of politics has done something that always seems to happen whenever discussing the three taboo topics. Religion, politics and sex. Nearly without fail what may start as an innocent discussion ends up in a heated argument. One of those three may well be credited with the ending of more relationships among friends and lovers than any other. So why in my right mind would I jump into the fray of politics, which may well be the worst?

It may stem from what may be another addictive part of my nature which is that of debate. This may be a reason for being a political Independent with right leanings. Neither “right” nor “left” have shown themselves to be preferable one over the other. Fear not, as I will not go into my thoughts on either. The point is the love of the debate.

It is a contest of intellect to me. Can I conger up enough evidence or content to force the other to submit? That is the challenge. The subject doesn’t matter. Over the years I have always been an avid reader, beginning back in elementary school. So my memory holds a wide variety of topics I can discuss. But the challenge is, no matter how little or how much is known about the subject at hand, it is to convince the other that I know more than I do. So politics and religion are dangerous topics for me to get involved with.

Pretty much since January 20th, I have let myself go, making hundreds of tweets and writing profusely on my blog and Face Book. Challenging others with opposite views to mine. Or just responding when really irresponsible comments are made by those who are only answering what their friends post with no real knowledge. How irritating!

It is beyond frustrating when someone posts an inflammatory or sensationalist article or link. After having fallen for the typical “Atheists are petitioning the FCC to get religious broadcasting banned from American airwaves.” hoax many years ago, I was cured quickly when informed what it was. Since that time any link or article that sounds too good to be true, or just too inflammatory in nature, hits the critical nerve. Snopes is the first place I go to check it out.

The real frustration, is when friends blindly post this type of content that their friends have posted without ever checking to see if it’s really true! More, after being advised it is false with a link to prove it, it is not retracted, removed, or deleted at all. Allowing more to be sucked into the lie! Greater is the frustration after being advised when these are repeat offenders!

So I have found a medium where to some degree my debate(able) talents can find outlet and expression. Writing about the “taboo topics” will be left to those journalists, opinion writers, reporters, analysts and commentators. All of them believe they are above reproach, unbiased and most of all, right. Just a short investigation would reveal how many have suffered heart attacks, strokes, addictions, and shown a bent towards “yellow journalism” and fake news. Their health is what pays the price.

So when it’s time to vote I will review the issues at hand. In the past it has been nothing but empty promises on either side. This one seems to actually be acting out on the promises. But lest I fall back into it, ‘nuff said.

Think I’ll go eat some bread. Especially since it tastes better than “crow!”

Eating bread instead of crow!
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Alan Written by:

Alan is retired and resides in Quito, Ecuador. Writing is a passion which has resulted in two eBooks thus far, with more in the works. Married 47 years with four sons and 13 grandchildren, provides potential grist for the mill! Alan is a charter "Boomer", a Viet Nam veteran, committed to roasting his own coffee and writes about whatever pops into his mind. He loves to build and ride recumbent bikes, play racquetball, writes almost daily, travels Ecuador, and talks to anything that does not move fast enough! The twinkle in his eye is a combination of the sun, and an active sense of humor. His desire to encourage others to write is being answered through his articles on the Internet.