I remember four years ago when I became interested in picking between the two candidates who were running for president. I compared BO and John McCain. BO struck me as an empty suit, who sat in a church that preached hate for 20 years, and who had serious ties to scary-liberal and communist people. McCain was a war hero who seemed like a good Christian. That was where I was at mentally 4 years ago.
Now, I realize what a moron I was. Not because I considered McCain a good guy. (Given the choice of 2 people, I picked the better guy) I was a moron because I waited until the two major parties picked their candidate to even pay attention to the whole thing. General elections at the national level are nothing more than giant popularity contests controlled by big money and marketing. The game is decided by the masses of idiots (which I was one of the many) who are gambling and excitedly fretting over who they should root for, just like they bet on horse races. It is an amazing waste of all personal resources: time, money, energy, emotion, and effort.
So this year I decided to start paying attention earlier, during the primary season. Turns out that just voting is really ‘not good enough’, you actually have to show up to a few meetings and be a part of a democratic process. This is also somewhat a waste of resources because of the inefficiencies, but not nearly as much as the general election involvement. I learned a lot and now have a better understanding of the system we operate under.
So the point of this post is to describe my frustration of myself 4 years ago. Why wasn’t I smarter about this? Now I’m four years older and know some things I didn’t know then, but what am I missing now? If I continue to uncover truths for 4 more years, how stupid will I seem to the Brian of 2016?
The larger issue is remembering this time element when dealing with other people. We just don’t know where people are at on this time scale in their own lives. Not only are we all on different paths with different experiences, we are all doing it at different speeds and with different priorities. Besides all that, some people just do not care to educate themselves about reality at all!