Politics Isn’t Everything… And That’s a Privilege

stickers with i voted inscription and flag of usa
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So, as we enter the holiday season, I thought this would be a good article to refer back to and remember. Politics really isn’t everything.

Sitting down to write today’s post is a bit challenging for me. I’m emotionally drained and exhausted. I’m sure many of you feel the same. It’s been a grueling year and these past few days have simply ramped things up.

Is “it” ever going to stop?

“It” is vague, so I’ll define “it”. It is the constant anger, angst, frustration, debate, contention, media flailing, partisan bickering, coronavirus hysteria and lock downs, riots, threats of riots, fraud, threats of fraud, conspiracies of fraud, legitimate fraud, confusion, political lies, media lies, accusations and attacks, and lack of truth anywhere. It’s an endless and constant barrage that has only increased over the past few days as the election results have come in muddied and confusing.

You may hold liberal, conservative, libertarian and any other sort of ideological beliefs, but I’m sure that all of us can agree on this: politics is not everything and it shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t inundate or poison every part of our lives.

flag of u s a standing near a tombstone

Politics is not everything. And yet today, it’s part of sports, movies, TV shows, entertainment, social media, marketing, shopping, Holidays, relationships, family, friendships and the list could stretch into eternity.

And the beauty of a free country, a country with liberty, is that politics doesn’t have to be everything. Do you understand what a rarity that is? In many countries, where government oppresses and controls every facet of someone’s life, politics and government truly is everything, no matter how hard the citizenry may try to escape it. When the government oppresses, the people have no choice but to be involved in politics and government and no choice but live with politics and government being involved in their lives.

In other countries, basic needs (food, water, clothing and shelter) are not met, and so people’s lives are consumed with simply trying to survive. For them, they don’t even have time to worry about “rights”, and “liberty”. Those topics aren’t on their radar.

They don’t have the luxury of kneeling on a field in front of a national (or local) audience to protest perceived injustices. They don’t have the luxury of complaining about which bathroom people should be allowed to use…they don’t have bathrooms. They don’t have the luxury of protesting perceived police brutality, mask mandates, unlawful government shutdowns and the like. They don’t have the luxury of complaining about how many blacks, Hispanics, women, Asians and the like are represented in government or in business when they don’t know if they’re going to be able to eat the next day.

We’re so entitled, so blessed, so spoiled here in America and yet we have people on one political side calling for a revolution and on the other buckling up for a Civil War… all over what? Sometimes I wonder this. Usually when countries revolt, it’s because they’ve been oppressed, suppressed, and abused, universally, by an authoritarian regime. They have a reason to be angry.

That’s not to say that there aren’t wrong doings in this country. There are government abuses. There is oppression, mistreatment, government overreach, and unconstitutional behavior that violates rights. But even in that, the individual who was violated or who is angry, usually has a house, with a TV, an iPhone and food. And what a privilege to be able to protest the injustices. We just must do so realizing that the worst in America is still not close to what many experience.

black woman creating earthenware on street of village
Photo by Tope A. Asokere on Pexels.com

Don’t believe me? In the world, starvation is a major issue. Around 821 million people in the world do not have enough food to live and function, and 98% of those people live in developing countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Ethiopia to name a few.

Water? Something that most Americans don’t even think about. Guess what? In the world, 2.1 billion people don’t have access to safe drinking water. In fact, unclean drinking water is responsible for 1.2 million deaths worldwide every year.

Guess how many Americans have access to clean water? Almost every single one. .00005% of Americans live without basic access to drinking water and sanitation.

Let’s move out from food and water. How many Americans have cell phones?

Ninety-six percent. That’s 96%, to reiterate.

adult blur bottle close up

Talk about privilege This is not the case in all countries.

In China, there are prison camps, re-education camps, constant surveillance and control over even the most minute movements of individuals. You want to talk corrupt police?. We haven’t seen corrupt police. Look at Mexico and Cambodia for two examples.

I mention all of these things to say this: friends, it’s a privilege to be able to throw a tantrum the way we’ve been throwing a tantrum. The mere ability to do so freely is a privilege.

Why does America have so much of “it”… so much constant anger, angst, frustration, debate, contention, media flailing, partisan bickering, coronavirus hysteria and lock downs, riots, threats of riots, fraud, threats of fraud, conspiracies of fraud, legitimate fraud, confusion, political lies, media lies, and lack of truth anywhere?

She has so much of “it”, my friends, because she is free. She’s free and privileged enough to complain about police corruption, government corruption, microaggressions, gender inequalities, racism, sexism, unconstitutional behavior and the like. In America, we have food, water, shelter and can come back to those things after we’ve finished pitching a fit out in the street about our oppression, inequalities and microaggressions.

Sometimes though, like during this election, I just want “it” to stop, even if just for a moment. For Americans to stop and look at what they’re doing, what they’re angry at, and what they’re protesting. To stop obsessing over politics and start obsessing over life and the reality that it’s a privilege to be able to choose to obsess over politics when we want and ignore it when we want. We have so much of life here in America and because we’re free, we have more than most people in the world could dream of having.

Politics isn’t everything in America because we’re free to live life without it having to be everything. That doesn’t mean we should ignore it, be uneducated and uninformed, but it does mean that we’re able to live life relatively freely without government’s shadow pervading every aspect of our lives. The mere ability to choose to protest, riot, watch one news station vs another, ignore politics or engage in politics —- is, in itself, the by product of a stable and free country.

Maybe during everything that’s going on Americans can stop and realize this. In America, politics isn’t everything.

And that, in itself, is a privilege.

The Liberty Belle

3 thoughts on “Politics Isn’t Everything… And That’s a Privilege”

  1. I just found your blog and am super glad I landed on this. I always used the example of microwaves and refrigerators being a privilege. 96% of Americans having cell phones is such a better example because it really is a luxury. I’m bookmarking this and linking to it the next time privilege comes up on my blog.

    1. C. McMasters Ph.D.

      Thank you for the comment! You’re exactly right. We have so much privilege here, we don’t even know how to consider life any other way. I’d love to check out your blog if you are willing to share the link here.

  2. Just one note you say only .00005% (17,00 people of a population for 340,000,000) do not have access to clean drinking water. According to another source seven million people were served by systems that exceeded the EPA’s Lead Action Level of 15 ppb. https://www.nrdc.org/resources/millions-served-water-systems-detecting-lead. That number grows to 61 million if using the FDA level allowed for bottled water. If you are wondering what the effects of lead here is a link to the EPA. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water#health.

    Just because something is a luxury in Somalia does not mean it is a luxury in the US. If you think that email addresses and cell phone numbers are a luxury then I suggest you try applying for a job and leave that information off your application.

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