Thursday, October 13, 2016

the world is watching

There are very few realities that are binary. Respect, intelligence, good v. bad, even gender isn't really binary.

But we like binary. On. Off. Good.Bad. Right.Wrong. Keeps life simple, doesn't it? The current state of affairs in the U.S. upcoming presidential election is a hard-won example (I'll explain that in a minute). Trump v. Clinton. One or the other. Binary.

Except it isn't. So many other choices exist. Yeah, I know...we need to change the two-party system, not enough people will vote Libertarian, blah blah blah. It's noise.

What happens if the majority of U.S. citizens just said to hell with this and no one showed up to vote?   I know that won't happen and so the people who do show up will ruin the potential of zero voter turnout but, what if? Or, what if we all wrote in our own candidate and we all wrote in our own name? Then what? Or a majority decided to get behind some random person and we all wrote his/her name in? Or....

And while you're running off with all the reasons that won't work/matter, you are running away from the point.  We have two "viable" candidates because we accept the reality as binary. As long as we accept this reality, it will be the definition of fact.

Trump and Clinton are complex human beings, so are you-me, everyone over the age of 5. But if we make them binary then we get to abdicate responsibility for the state of affairs and lay it all at the feet of the two-party system political engines. And this is a hard won example of the state we are all facing, the byproduct of trying to force humanity into a binary context when it just fucking isn't binary.

Is Trump a mysogonist prick? Is Clinton a criminal? Is that the sum total of who they are as people? Probably not. But it's easier to assume it is the sum total of their personalities because that makes it binary. If this crazy election season can offer us insight into anything, maybe it can teach us that our Hollywood driven idealism in which people wear black hats or white hats doesn't actually parallel with reality. Maybe, just maybe, it's time for us to grow up and realize that life can be difficult. People can be complex creatures and decisions as to what a thing is....or is not....might require more than five minutes worth of evaluation.

And maybe, if we want our lot in life to improve, we need to look up from our own navels and see where we can add value. The elderly woman struggling to load her groceries into her car...offer to help her. The frazzled parent with a screaming toddler in a public place - smile at them instead of rolling your eyes annoyed (trust me, that parent is having no more fun than you are) - someone not paying attention to the lane closure trying to "force their way in" - don't be an ass, let them in. What does it cost you? Are they clueless so your refusal teaches them they had better become more aware? Are they a cheating bastard who is outrunning the lane so they get ahead?

You don't. But if you make it binary, good or bad, life just got easy. You -we- get to self justify.

Trust me, when it comes to the lane jumpers I'm just as likely as the next person to cast stones. But I'm also not willing to dismiss someone's worth or value because of the decision they make on the roadway or in the voter's booth.  Like it or not, we are all in this mess together. Evidence of a true Alpha is demonstrated in the amount of resources s/he has and are offered to those who gain from being served by those resources. As a country full of people who pride themselves as Alpha's - guess what? The world is watching. Will you be a value-add resource? It starts in the parking lot of the grocery store folks, the voting booth is only a mirrored reflection.

Oh, and the world is actually watching. Talking to friends who live outside our boarders, their news channels are focused on our election. Not what's happening in nearby Syria, but what's happening here in our election circus.  Collectively we need to a) grow a pair and b) grow up.

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