My mental exhaustion from the 2020 Election Cycle
I am exhausted. From this current election cycle dating back to early 2019, to the 2016 cycle and everything that has happened since (RUSSIA, IMPEACHMENT, HILLARY FOR PRISON, CHINA, RUSSIA…. yack yack yack).
What I have seen across the political spectrum is this willful partisan ignorance, coupled with bipartisan support for nonsensical, and purposely blind takes on very real issues. And this constant pandering to stupid cultural issues rather than tackle actual issues like the economy, healthcare, war, and assaults on civil liberties, just turns my brain into a chaotic mush.
I have noticed in recent months a sense of retreat on my behalf from engaging nearly as much in the current political discourse, mostly because of the aforementioned reasons. My level of disdain has never been higher for having political conversations with partisan affiliates during these lovely political times — even now with COVID-19 which should have been the catalyst for some semblance of familial unity. But I digress.
Some part of me reminisces back to the post-9/11 days, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” mentality. If you don’t support Biden, then you must automatically support Trump. If you don’t support Trump, then you must obviously support Biden.
As it stands, I have more than accepted the reality that one of these people will ultimately become the next US President (more than likely Biden, but Trump is a sneaky little devil. Can’t count him out just yet), so my calculus has shifted from: who would I like to see as president, to this, who would I rather fight over the next 4 years? In that light, the answer to me has become fairly obvious, though my overall anxiety has not waned.
Will Biden be better than Trump on the environment? Marginally, sure.
The economy? I would consider that a wash. Both have a mix of policies that tend to already favor the well-to-do to varying extents.
What about war and foreign policy? Biden has already stated that he would like to increase the military budget, but at least he will put a friendlier face behind our bombs. Moreover, Trump has still yet to get us involved in any new conflicts— Obama by the end of his first term had already expanded that platter by multiple countries.
How about immigration? Biden should be better on this in regards to the Dreamers, but, he is also in support of various destabilizing efforts down in central and south America that will only perpetuate the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.
How about guns? Biden will be pushing some decent gun reforms, but due to the cartoonish nature of democratic pandering on this particular issue, I don’t see these ever happening.
Trade? Trump by a hair. Both support NAFTA like policies, though Trump in his own words, does not. Though in practice, his replacement of NAFTA his only marginally better. However, he has been staunchly against the TPP deal.
On authoritarianism? Trump seems to veering heavily into the religious fascism direction, which is also terrifying. And seems to have little desire to hide that reality. If we are being, however, the US has been moving closer and closer to an authoritarian state, and Biden will do little to curb the excesses of governmental power over the American populace. #FreeAssange #FreeSnowden
The Supreme Court is one area where people will scream off of rooftops as being the main reason to vote Biden, or any democrat, in any election really. And I get it, and tend to sort of agree. But this argument tends to pop up more as an argument against pushing the party left, or considering alternative options during the primaries, than it does out of some genuine concern to protect various rights in society.
One area where Biden could be a hell of a lot better is in his rhetoric — he is not nearly as divisive as Trump with his choice of words, and his persona isn’t nearly as controversial as Hillary, despite having (arguably) a worse overall voting record. During these tumultuous times regarding racial relations and political discourse, a calm and boring president might be just what the doctor ordered.
However, the ensuing peace (if we get there… sic the Red Mirage in November) will not be long lasting if serious attempts at resolving the underlying problems that led up to these protests, to Trump being elected president, and to the decades-long gutting of the blue collar class. And if recent history of democratic presidents can be used as evidence for what is to come, it doesn’t leave me with much hope, certainly not any hope I can believe in.
And so here lies my dismay. I don’t see a Biden administration doing much of anything to resolve these underlying wounds. I am already seeing the “Russia” excuse making, with any critique of Biden being attributed to Putin. It is a great go-to distraction to avoid genuine dialogue on issues impacting everyday citizens.
I see an administration that will consistently retort platitudes without the subsequent policy remedies (Hi Mayor Pete).
And they will always find enough “Nay” or “Yay” votes on key policies to prevent the progress making it into law — Trump has yet to lose on any of his proposed military budgets over his first term.
They will always adhere to the rule of cultural pandering via Kente cloth wearing photo ops and meaningless knee-taking.
They will say just enough to temporarily calm the current unrest, whilst kicking the can further down the hall, only to rinse-and-repeat the same strategy.
And the worst of all — with the selection of the first African-American and South-Asian VP in Kamala Harris, we will be hearing far too much cawing of “that’s sexist/racist” as the go-to clap back to any criticisms that their administration may face, regardless of the validity of the claims.
And so the merry-go-round called the US political system will continue its path as such, circling the drain, and siphoning as much as it can continue to exploit. But at least you can have the warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing that we are “making progress!”
You can rest easy knowing that Obama’s pal Biden is the one bombing 7 different countries rather than that evil Drumpf! And once Obamacare is re-enacted, it will be great being forced to buy insurance that you can’t afford, with deductibles and co-pays that make the insurance next-to-impossible to use for millions of Americans. But at least they have access to healthcare! And weed, don’t need to worry about them young kids smoking dope under a Biden administration!
Anyhow, maybe I will be proven completely wrong, and Biden will be a “changed man” come January, forcing all of his progressive opponents to concede that he is truly a good man returning the soul to our nation. Or maybe he will simply forget how he made it back into the White House…