Politics is killing us…Literally

In 1972, I cast my first ballot in a presidential election from a remote duty station in Iceland. I was a Cryptologist in the Navy. I was 18 years old, defending my country and excited to vote for the first time in my life. It was my civic duty and an obligation I proudly embraced. I took the matter seriously. I gathered what information I could, watched and listened to the candidates, thought things through, made my choice and voted. The process, and the entire election for that matter was not stressful to me. I had no anxiety or sleepless nights. I was engaged but not consumed. And, I didn’t argue with a single soul.

Fast forward to today−things could not be more different and not in a good way. Politics is consuming us and it’s killing us literally!

Every day we are bombarded with political rhetoric on scale not seen in our country’s history. Every news show, talk show, late night show, award ceremony and day time show (not including the actual political programs) is infected with it. And, the unfortunate reality regarding the voluminous amount of information thrown at us−is the undeniable fact that a great deal of it is not even true.

It’s no wonder that we are stressed.

Politics has always been a dirty game. From the stories of Tammany Hall in New York City, to the shady politics of the Windy City, to old man Joe Kennedy sending boat loads of cash down south to buy votes−there has always been corruption associated with seeking” higher” office. The problem we face today is that we are being sucked right in along with them.

We’ve all heard the stories−lifelong friends disassociating from each other because of their political views. Across the country, people are being verbally and physically assaulted. We have witnessed paying customers being denied services because of the hat or the uniform they’re wearing. We just don’t have political opinions anymore−we’ve become political operatives. One outrageous case brought to mind, was that of a woman who refused to allow her children to visit their grandparents because they supported President Trump. This is insanity on steroids. To deny your children one of the most important bonds of their lives over politics is maddening. People have split from their friends and family, wasted countless hours of their lives responding to posts and blogs−and caused themselves a great deal of stress over a politician they have never met! Ponder that for a moment.

It’s crazy to me that we have allowed these “temporary gatekeepers of the government’s business” to infect our daily lives. Our government has problems but our country is strong. I see these as two separate entities. Our country is made up of guiding principles. The principles of fairness, justice, humility and compassion make up the backbone of America. It’s our duty as citizens to try as best we can to live by them. Regarding our government, well, it’s made up of people who come and go (eventually).

But despite the bleak picture that faces us, we have the power to stop the craziness. We can’t control what others do but we can control what we do. This blog is dedicated to finding ways to cope. Michigan Health has recommended 5 ways to reduce politically induced stress. I guess they coined a new ailment. You can spell out the acronym for the ailment yourself.

Below is a summary:

  • Beware of how much time you spend on social media
  • Be mindful of your surroundings when discussing politics (this one I have a problem with)
  • Be open to other points of view
  • Step away from hot conversations
  • Self-assess your interest (is engaging in politics good for you)

So, for right now, take a break and take a walk. Don’t worry, it will still be here when you return. Go and clear your mind and as my son always tells me−chill Dad, just chill..

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts and perhaps some discussion on how we got here.

16 thoughts on “Politics is killing us…Literally

  1. pwhitn200

    Many good insights here. I firmly believe there are at least 3 reasons why we are in this mess. 1.) Media propganda on both sides…show what sells your audience and nothing else. 2.) People, while having access to almost the entirety of human history and knowledge, have gotten lazy and dont want to or are unable to think for themselves. 3.) Its way easier to blame a political party, politician etc than to stand up and admit that you’ve been asleep at the wheel.

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  2. My brother how happy I am that you are a voice of reason. I very much appreciate the effort in your words to at least. Agree to disagree. Your point of stepping away from hot conversation is good but, have we become that sensitive to different views we need to step away in a discussion just because we think differently? I guess so, we no longer respectfully debate. Everything seems ” to the death” or absolute. If course, my preference is to have deep thoughts while smoking a cigar. Never heard of anyone sending a good smoke to the floor to go “Nano to mano”. Proud of you.

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    1. Hey Brother,
      Thanks for the feedback. The recommendations that I cited were made by Michigan Health. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them but its a good basic guide. I agree there is too much sensitivity going on…nothing a good cigar can’t fix. I enjoyed what you sent me. I haven’t ordered more yet because my box was so full I was stacking them in the drawer. But now my supply is dwindling. I’ll reach out.
      Best,
      Your USSS Brother

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      1. Brenda

        Hi Steve

        All the best to you and your blog ! I welcome supporting great minded and ethical people like You, Carmela and family.

        Personally, I have never put myself in a position to be stressed by others over the political candidates or politics in general. I prefer to keep my thoughts private but try to be educated. I make it known before family get togethers that discussion is fine but respect is priority.

        That said, constant phone calls and texts are quite annoying but appear to be replacing the door to door approach. I assume given the technology of today it is more efficient for outreach and name recognition. However, Not personal and not working to gain true followers just a marketing ploy for name remembrance at the polls for some.

        Wouldn’t it be great to have a safe/neutral place to obtain facts about candidates past decisions in an easy comparison format to provide a true picture for Americans to view and decide prior to election Which all Americans have free access to obtain. ( tv debates are fine but they are measured in a ridiculous manner. ) If that already exists, inform me and I’ll pass it on

        Personally I would hire as I would in business which is based on factual past performance and fit for role over who interviewed the best publicly.
        Most people today are so busy running their household ( # 1 priority) and obtain incorrect or confusing information from Media sources from which to make a candidate decision or others in a worse place and have no access to information

        I think your blog is relevant to raise awareness overall for Americans in general
        Therefore thank you for your efforts! A LONG way to go with addressing the stress and respect especially prior to an election year . A journey for sure

        My two cents? Inform the next generation better long before they get to college if we want real change

        B
        An old ( literally and figuratively) friend from the Boston aka NH area

        PS: USSSBoston? Love it !

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      2. Hi Brenda,
        Great to hear from you and thank you for your thoughtful well crafted response. I couldn’t agree more and would love to have that “place” where we could go to get straight no agenda news. I can only hope. I am glad you find the topic of my blog relevant. The purpose is to get people to dial it down a bit, loosen the tight collar and breathe. Politically things are very hot. People are entrenched in their camps’ and we are losing the middle ground. I hope by exchanging ideas (some of which you provided) we can find that middle ground again. I’m optimistic. Our country has been through a lot worse in its history and we survived.
        All the best,
        Steve

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  3. Deborah Libby

    Couldn’t agree more, Steve! In my own extended family, I am often the one dissenting opinion and have to simply express my view and move on because “tunnel vision” is alive and thriving with many today. I have also found that trying to convince some people that “opinion based news” channels and Facebook aren’t reliable sources is also a battle I now choose to bypass. I hope civility returns to our political parties, along with some common sense and moderate views, so the country can heal. All my best to you and Carmela!

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    1. Hi Deb,
      Great to hear from you! We share the same sentiments. The political climate is so hot right now its fracturing the country. People are so entrenched their not even willing to listen to the other point of view. I think it’s time for all of us to step back and dial it down a bit for our own peace of mind!! I hope all is well with you and your family. Carmela says hello!
      I miss the CPD days!

      Like

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