Different Point Of View
Muhammad Naeem | Contributed
I remember when I first became eligible to vote, there was true pride in the whole process. It meant a lot that I could cast my vote and literally make kings out of ordinary politicians. The amazing part of our elections was the lack of fear in voting, the fairness of the ballot counting, and the extraordinary transition to the new administration where respect of the office was a principle to live by. Life went on after the elections as it had gone on before the elections.
There were no upheavals, no chaos, and no riots as was the case for the rest of the world. We were special and we were good. We honored the choice made by our citizens and accepted the winners as our new leaders, be they the choice we made, or the choice made by other citizens of the opposing viewpoint. They were elected to represent us as a collective, and we stood behind them, because they represented us and our nation on the world stage.
The politicians in return valued us, the voters—all the voters, and not just what they would consider to be their base—and went out of their way to win us over, by highlighting their grand principles and great character. They were a better choice, as the campaign would advertise, because they were a better person, and were more suited to be our voice. They were truly concerned with making our lives better and making our nation a great nation, not just use it as a motto on their hats.
Enter the Trump era, in parallel with the Social Media era. Principles and character went out the window in the age of clicks and likes. Just like oil in water, trolls and [s-word] floated to the top and took center stage. It is so easy these days to say nasty stuff, negative stuff, and flat-out lies from behind a keyboard, that everyone and their uncle are spouting vile and nasty trash. Words that were a no-no in polite company, became the norm. In the age of things going viral, the politicians and their co-conspirators, learned to start “wildfires” without any consequences and without any accountability. As a matter of fact, there are financial rewards for being the loudest, the vilest, and of course, the biggest liar. The echo-chambers become bigger and bigger as it is easier and easier to isolate like minded people into a select group and direct their ire and their energy onto any target of one’s choosing.
The era of grift was born. People have started to make money, tons of money, just by being nasty and by telling lies that would garner a great deal of attention. There was a time when getting caught in a lie came with a great deal of stigma. Not so these days. In addition, fringe groups and extremist ideas have started to become more prominent and have started to drown out mainstream beliefs. It doesn’t matter if one really believes what one is saying, as long as the words bring attention to the video and bring notoriety to the author. Others start to feature such video in their own presentations. News outlets start reporting and analyzing these nasty videos, or tweets, or posts, and soon all we hear is the same garbage and noise, and everything else fades to background.
This election, that just finished, has been the epitome of disbelief. Our elections have been hijacked by sound bites. Politicians openly question the validity of the very elections that they are running in, and if they lose that means the elections were rigged. There is no one to rig the elections, there are no powers that anyone can see, trying to tip the scales. Yet, the results are being questioned even before the counting of the votes has started. There are people from all parties watching the count, there are journalists from all over the world keeping a close eye on the process, there are video cameras capturing every second and every step of the process, but they claim that the vote counting was fraudulent. There is no proof to present, yet, they keep saying it over and over, until their noise starts to resonate with their base.
Now, our elections are nothing but a joke. The rest of the world is laughing at us. We are supposed to be a shining beacon of democracy, yet we look like idiots after each of our elections. People who are trying to delegitimize our institutions present themselves as “patriots”, yet a true patriot would put the well-being of our nation ahead of everything else. There are individuals running for the positions of governors and secretaries of state in this election who promise to invalidate the results if they don’t agree with the results, to heck with our votes. If they win, that means there are voters who are okay with extreme disrespect of their own votes. The idea does not even make sense.
I ask you this: Aren’t you tired of all of this? Aren’t you tired of Trump and his bald-faced election lies? Aren’t you tired of other politician kissing his behind, and spouting the same rhetoric, just to deceive you out of your vote and out of your money? Aren’t you tired of the shenanigans carried out by third-rate representatives who use God as a prop just to make you think that they are religious and worthy of your following? AREN’T YOU TIRED OF FOLLOWING FALSE-GODS?
Well, I am. I am tired of politicians claiming that God created them on the eighth day. I am tired of preachers and candidates using the Bible to justify the existence of fallible individuals as divine creations. I am tired of “enemies” of our state claiming to be its true saviors. Most of all, I am tired of our fellow citizens who have lost the ability to discern between traitors and true patriots. This election is a great indicator of the termites that are planning to eat our institutions from within, and I hope the results from it show that the nation is aware of them and has opted to fumigate, instead of letting them fester. If not, even God can not save America.
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