On ignoring the election

I’ve been rather pleased with myself.

Every election is ‘the most important election in history,’ just ask anybody with a dog in the fight. I don’t believe it; I haven’t believed it in a very long time. But you could certainly make a case that this has been the most contentious election since 1800, Jefferson/Adams*. But this year I’m not letting it get to me. I’ve largely left it alone on the blog not (only) as a matter of policy, but because I really haven’t been giving it that much thought.

Normally by now I’m exhausted and just begging for it to be over. I tried to stay aloof from the whole thing during the 2016 campaign but I got sucked in by how loathsome I found and still find Hillary “Basket of Deplorables” Clinton – not much more than marginally more loathsome than I found Orange Mussolini at the time, but at least he wasn’t actively shouting threats against people like me.

Point is, I promised myself almost five years ago I wouldn’t get sucked into caring about an election campaign held between two equally objectionable people in whose actual choice the voters got no real say – and then I played the political junky like I always do.

You’d think this year would be even worse for the old cedar rat, because while I still have a hard time warming up to President Blowhard he really hasn’t been as appalling in his actual governance as I expected. And I truly object to increasingly-open socialist politicians playing footsie with openly socialist riot gangs. So I expected to have a hard time staying aloof.

My position – at first aspirational, I admit, but more and more true in practice – has probably been most thoroughly outlined here

Screw systems. Screw establishments, screw waiting for somebody to clear up the big mess and give me permission to be free. The only person who can make that decision is me. The only person who has to live my life is me, and I can’t live any other life but my own so why am I trying to live it by somebody else’s standards?

Really, whose fault is it that I’m doing that? It’s not George Bush’s fault. It’s not Nancy Pelosi’s fault. They don’t know me from Adam and wouldn’t care if they did. The only person who is actively doing destructive things to me is me, and I’m welcome to stop. Hating on the great omnipotent “they” – and calling that a struggle for freedom – has never gotten me anywhere. It’s like bitching about the weather: Great fun, but not as useful as fixing my own roof and insulating my own walls. The weather itself won’t change just to suit me.

While passively waiting for the world to change, I’d been ignoring the one person who could have a positive effect on my life.

This means, among other things, not getting worked up about things I can’t fix and especially not picking sides between Candidate Awful and Candidate Slightly Worse. It means tending my own garden; working on doing freedom in my own life to the greatest extent possible/practical and not waiting for gods or libertarians or real estate tycoons to give me permission to live free. And historically, I’m really good about promising myself that – and really bad about doing it.

This year has been – better. Even in 2020, Year Crazy, I’m not especially worked up about what’s going on in the world. And for me, that’s a sign of long-awaited progress.

I did buy more toilet paper yesterday, though…


*Seriously, look it up. You think modern pundits are partisan and hyperbolic? Amateurs.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to On ignoring the election

  1. Matt says:

    Good position. I should work on this myself. Thanks for the codification.

  2. Spud says:

    Yeah I too went and purchased three more of the big packs of Charmin.
    Thinking the S is likely hit the rotator no matter which of the two slugs win.
    Although I’d really like to see that Orange gas bag get some comeuppance. Perhaps even some jail time just for being such an ass …
    The other guy ? Shit he’s likely to die off before even making it to inauguration day, leaving us with another poor choice lol.

  3. Beaner49 says:

    you may ignore politics , but politics won’t ignore you.
    said someone

  4. Mike says:

    FYI Beaner49, the quote is:

    “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

    ― Pericles

  5. Judy says:

    “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” ― Pericles

    Which is why, it is in your best interest to keep a weathered eye on the idiots that are being selected to pontificate, from the occupant in the White House down to the local dog catcher or a school board member. Sticking your head in the sand means you are going to miss seeing whatever version of Attila the Hun is heading your way and won’t have time to figure out how to side-step them.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    Never forget the four “Ss:”

    1. Shoot.
    2. Shovel.
    3. Shut up!!!

    Although if you live remotely in an area with feral hogs, the third “S” might be redundant…

  7. Jeff Allen says:

    the most current incarnation of the “politics” aphorism:

    Remember that even if you are not interested in politics, the fact remains that politics are interested in you, and indeed are busy already shaping your future. Remember that we are in history and not merely watching it stream past us…

    – J. B. Priestley, Letter to a Returning Serviceman (London: Home and Van Thal Ltd., 1945), p. 31.

  8. godhelpus says:

    Hear Hear!

  9. Joel says:

    Re: The Pericles* quote…

    Noted.

    *I have serious doubts that Pericles really said that, but somebody did. Pericles was quotable, though; he may have said something like that.

To the stake with the heretic!