Last weekend, I drove out to the suburbs of Chicago to visit my grandparents. The visit was pleasant, and while I was sad to go, that feeling was soon lost in a sense of bitter humor as I forked over eight more dollars (close to seventeen round trip) on the Illinois tollway to get back to my state of free highways and corn.
So now that the elections are officially over (Florida finally joined the party! More importantly, who cares?!), I have to ask: Where did the politics go? Where are all the fiery Facebook posts? The political ads? The local news covering something that mattered? It seems we all stop caring once it’s no longer a competition, once we no longer have the need to butt heads with our neighbors. What does that say about the rest of our political system? At it’s core, is it a crummy action movie we turn on in the background for noise? Politicians take it seriously while we ignore what’s happening.
Whether you liked all the media attention and propaganda during the election or not, it got you to care about something. You discussed (sometimes incoherently) the issues with your friends and Facebook acquaintances, and you probably read the paper more. You paid attention to something. Obviously, always having political commercials on would drive us to the brink, but would it be the end of the world to do some of the arguing for ourselves? If we controlled more of the discussion and cared about something, Washington would probably run a little more smoothly.