Last Days of Summer
If you haven’t yet had a barbeque, drug gone to the beach, sickness taken a vacation or a dip in the community swimming pool, try you are quickly running out of time. The sun is setting on the last days of summer, and soon students will return to the classroom and the leaves will begin to turn orange, golden yellow and bright red. The oppressive humidity will pass on until next season and the morning air will thin and become crisp and cool. It will be time to “fall back” and we will gain back the hour of darkness we lost last spring. These are the last days of summer, the fall season is about to appear over the horizon and in these final weeks of summer, we have become fully immersed in the political season. The 2016 Presidential Primary Election season is now in full swing.
We are one year away from the national conventions where both parties will select their respective candidates to run for the office of President of the United States. Politics usually have much more to do with what people believe rather than what people actually know. So much of what people understand about politics or even political candidates is formed through the lens of commercial sound bytes and social media memes. Most voters do not bother to actually research either the issues or the people who represent them. We live in a time where the idea of an informed electorate is less possible, because retail politics and reality television prey upon the shallowness of the ordinary citizen who no longer makes it their responsibility to actually sift through the glitter and thinly veiled political innuendo, character assassination, falsehoods and half truths that feel more like an episode of Scandal or House of Cards than the actual real life politics that affect their lives. People are more inclined to seek to be entertained by the political process rather than earnestly engaged in it. And that means trouble right here in the River City and throughout this nation.
In America, all things are possible is what we would like to believe. We can, if we want, elect a Hollywood movie star as governor or president or a World Wrestling Federation Champion with absolutely no experience in the political arena. Being a CEO of a major corporation or a billionaire gets immediate attention from the major media machine, which often makes and breaks political campaigns. It has become a spectacle, a happening that celebrity hounds, media junkies want to be a part of, seeking some sort of celebrity “fix.” Being the leader of the free world is NOT a celebrity game show or video game. The consequences of failure go far beyond losing the game or the show being cancelled. The POTUS has the power of life and death, war and peace, justice and discrimination in the palm of her/his hands. There are global consequences to who sits in the White House. The power given to the Executive branch of our government to nominate and appoint Justices to the Supreme Court, make federal judicial appointments, appoint ambassadors and cabinet members, and to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is enormous. The recent cavalier dismissal of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution by certain political candidates, on the conservative right, when discussing immigration reform is frightening. Particularly, when we consider the enormous loss of life and the carnage we continue to witness as a nation due to gun violence because our government representatives do not have the political will to address background checks and loopholes in current gun laws nationwide. This is under the guise of “protecting” our 2nd Amendment rights and seems immoral by comparison.
Pay attention, we are in the last days of summer, and it is time to get engaged and get informed because, like it or not, politics matter. Do your research. Listen and learn, for even the rights of citizenship found in the U.S. Constitution may be under attack by those who wish to become the next POTUS. Summer is over.
Up Next Week: The Denial & Dismissal of #AllLivesMatter