” Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.”
– OPENING LINES OF “LOVE ACTUALLY”
If there is one thing that bothers me these days, it’s that people seem so angry. Angry and judgmental, quick to say that people who choose to live differently than them are somehow evil.
And of course when you’re defending your way of life from evil people, politics becomes brutally important.
Except that it isn’t. Politicians on both sides of the aisle spend most of their time defending the status quo. Does anyone in Congress really debate whether the free-market system — basically unfettered capitalism — is really good for our country? If you listen to the bleatings about “Obamacare,” you would think we had just turned our country over to Karl Marx, Joe Stalin and the rest of the crew. But who benefited most from the act? The insurance companies, who you may have noticed aren’t saying anything bad about it.
In fact, most of the principles of Obama’s reform were identical to ideas generated by the conservative Heritage Foundation. If they had been proposed by a Republican president, they would have had full GOP support. Instead, we have two parties in Washington that won’t do much of anything if it means their opponents will share the credit at all. So nothing gets done and our problems just become worse and worse.
The irony is that I don’t think most people really care all that much about politics, one way or the other. I think most people just want to be left alone to live their lives, and I think there’s a lot more respect among people of opposing views than talk radio or the cable squawk channels would have us believe. Add up all the audiences of all the talk shows and cable news on both sides and it’s not much more than 10 percent of the country.
Just as we have been hearing lately about the 1 percent and the 99 percent, we really ought to stop worrying so much about the folks who get all excited about politics. Let them have their fun. Sadly, it really doesn’t seem to make that much difference anymore who is ostensibly in charge in Washington. Republicans block the Democrats and I’m pretty sure the Democrats will do the same the next time they’re out of power.
Politics won’t save our country.
Neither will money.
Maybe we would be better off if we could manage to start liking each other again.