As I do most Sundays, I am sitting here now with my coffee cup in my hand, watching the Sunday morning political talk shows.
The remote is sitting next to me, and I’m clicking from one station to the next. And if I may be so bold as to quote one of my heroines, “I call bullshit.”
I’m listening to elected officials like Joni Ernst and Chris Christie, and political operatives like Rahm Emanuel and George Stephanopolous. They’re arguing about all the key issues of the day, and naturally, they’re leaning predictably right or left.
They’re bickering back and forth about the impeachment and whether it was “fair”. Mostly they’re arguing about who stands to lose more in the 2020 elections. Will the Democrats come out on top, with some moral superiority? Or will the Republicans gain votes by insisting that the President won this round?
They aren’t talking about the damage that may or may not have been done to the institutions that were designed to protect us. They aren’t talking about the lies that took place right out there in front of us, or about the likelihood that we are moving into an era of nearly unlimited executive power.
Nope. They’re talking about parties and winning.
And I also notice that as I listen to the talking heads discussing the Iowa Caucuses, I keep hearing the phrase “ground game.” Which team has the best “ground game.”
I mean, I know its Superbowl Sunday and all that, but folks this election is not a damn game.
I keep hearing them use the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘they.’ Saying that ‘we’ need to remember what happened in past elections. Saying that ‘they’ are trying to make sure that ‘they’ win in 2020.
And I call pure, unadulterated bullshit.
Out here in the real world, outside of the cozy cocoon of political insiders, live millions of actual human beings. Human beings who plan to vote. People who are worried about their medical bills and the cost of milk. People with mortgages to pay and daycare bills to manage.
Our here are people with preexisting conditions and kids who need a good education.
We’re voting for us and for each other. We’re going to vote in the interests of our families and our communities.
We aren’t voting for your team. To most of us, your constant focus on winning for your side is no “party.”
We don’t work for the DNC or the RNC. We’re getting pretty damn sick of hearing you pontificate about the “American people” and what we think. Some of us are riveted by the impeachment trial. Some of us don’t give a rat’s ass about it.
Our kids have fevers. Our local grocery store has closed. Our local schools need new books and more teachers.
Too many of us are grieving for loved-ones murdered by guns. Too many are scared that our kids will never be able to afford homes and families. We’re worried about new and terrifying illnesses popping up around the world. We care about rising tides, bigger hurricanes and melting ice caps.
We have some news for all you “pundits”. We aren’t worried about which team wins. We aren’t pledging our undying loyalty to red or to blue.
Nearly half of us are now unenrolled or independent voters. We’ve spent decades watching our government turn into an endless tug-o-war. Sometimes one side has the big strong guy at the back, sometimes its the other team.
But what we’ve noticed is this:
While the two Parties are tugging back and forth, nothing changes for us. We’re still paying for endless, unwinnable wars over oil. We still don’t have safe and decent and equitable schools. We’re increasingly stretched when it comes to paying for insurance and then paying for our health care. Medication costs are skyrocketing, and that keeps us up at night. Our kids are working two jobs to try to pay off student debt.
But none of you Sunday morning TV folks are even addressing any of this.
Instead, you’re telling us which candidates are “electable” and which ones “will never be President.” You’re telling us that we are all required to unite behind our team captains and vote for whichever nominee is picked by the party bosses.
We call bullshit. Knee-deep, self-serving, stinking, steaming piles of absolute bullshit.
Cuz you know what? A choice between two people who agree to keep towing the party line, who promise to protect the party, but not the people; that’s no choice at all.
The Party is over. For a whole boatload of us regular people out here in voter land, the freakin’ party line is done.