Oh, buckle up. The Presidential Debates are starting. I am not watching. I don’t have it in me. I’m not apathetic; quite the opposite. If I watch, I’ll get upset all out of proportion when someone says something I don’t like, and I’ll feel the need defend my candidate, and pretty soon I’m pointing and name-calling and yelling, “AND ANOTHER THING…” at my television. As if anything I could say would change the mind of someone voting for the other side; as if anything the other side says is going to change my world view; as if anyone can hear me yelling at my television in the living room. As if I were watching ACC basketball. I’ll get that wound up.
The thing is, politics is way more about world view than it is about any particular candidate or issue; my world view is all Democrat, and that will not be changing. I read Don’t Think of an Elephant, and wow, that changed the way I understand politics altogether. If your world view is Republican, bless your heart, and have a nice day, and we’ll each vote our separate tickets, but good heavens, let’s not discuss it at Thanksgiving dinner. That never goes well. I understand, at this point in adulthood, that I am no more likely to change your mind than you are likely to change mine. So we’ll just vote, like civilized people do.
One of the ongoing power struggles in our office, though, is that my boss loves to talk about politics in the office, and I will almost never talk about politics in the office. For the record, we are both on the same side. That makes it even more pointless to get worked up about what some crackpot said last night on the news. “Are you watching the Republican Convention?” he’ll ask. “Nope.” “Aren’t you curious?” “Nope. I am not Republican, I can not cast a vote in the Republican primary, and this circus has zero impact on my life until it’s all down to two candidates, and then I will vote for the Democrat.” “Don’t you want to know what crazy thing so and so said in his speech?” “Nope. Please pass the stapler.” “Well, I stayed up past midnight and watched every bit of it, and let me tell you…..” at which point I am halfway to the nearest coffee shop purchasing a peppermint latte to give me the strength to get through the day.
The last few weeks have sounded something like, “Well, Mitt has really stepped in it again.” And I say, “Mmm hmm.” And then I will get a detailed explanation of how Mitt has really stepped in it, and I’ll say, “Know what? I think what I’ll do, is not vote for him.” And the next day it’s a story of how Mitt blew it at the Olympics, and I’m all, “Oh I know what! How about just not voting for him.” And then the gaffes get bigger and more outlandish, and I calmly state, “Huh! Good thing I’m not planning to vote for him,” but then I look up whatever the latest political stumble is and then I get all “I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS MAN” too. So, in addition to being unwavering in my commitment not to vote for him, I get worked up despite my best intentions to remain above the fray.
Ah, seventeen minutes in to the first debate, and can you hear that? Me neither, because I never turned it on. Fill me in later, or better yet, don’t; I wholeheartedly endorse Obama anyway, and I’ll catch up on anything critical via The Onion at my desk tomorrow. Oh yes, and I’m guaranteed to hear all about it from the boss.
Think I’ll stop for a peppermint latte on the way in to work tomorrow. Can’t hurt. Might help.