Why I’m registered non-partisan

As I sit with both CNN and FoxNews open on my browser and read the latest propaganda, whoops…I mean headlines, I’m feeling a few things.

1. Exhaustion. I just can’t be constantly ticked off like these sites demand me to be. I don’t have the energy to be that full of fear, rage, anger, and whatever else they need me to be in order to keep going to their site. And they need that because that’s what their business model requires. More eyes viewing the sites so that they can sell more slots to advertisers. I’m starting to think that the world would be better off with these partisan propaganda machines.

2. Boredom. That’s right, I’m feeling exhausted in seeing the stuff they think is news, and at the same time am bored by it. Why? Because it’s predictable. It’s the same arguments, it’s just a matter of who the target audience is and who the “villain” is. It’s like a mad-lib in which you have the same basic story line and you fill in some names and words. Every story is predictable. Here’s a story that is designed to rile up people over this issue pointing out the most extreme example and twisting it, making it seem like “they” are going to come take away your ________. Throw in a three letter organizational name, and maybe mention an evil billionaire, along with a political theory that few people really understand and you have yourself the template for most political stories these days. Try it out. Anything the Democrats propose, the Republicans will automatically oppose, and vice versa, because God forbid we do anything that actually helps anyone beyond our voting base and fundraising base. We don’t have functioning political parties, we have fundraising parties that are incentivized to move to the extremes and tap into people’s emotions.

3. Sad. I’m sad for actual journalists and news organizations. Because they get thrown in with the likes of partisan hacks who claim to be news. There are many really good journalists out there doing a great job. But like most things, the focus ends up being on the folks who abuse the system, mislead people, and exploit people. The fact that this happens isn’t shocking unfortunately. The same thing happens in church too. And yes, even in politics. Not all people in politics are bad. In fact, most aren’t. It’s the small percentage of folks who crave attention, and are the most extreme that give politics a bad name. Why are so many people draw to the whack-a-doodles in any industry?

4. Questioning. Why do so many people actually listen to these folks? That’s the question I often end up with. Can’t we see past the rage politics, the fake victimhood, the toxic individualism, the party propaganda that keeps shifting to meet the needs of fundraising, etc.? It’s not all that difficult to see how shallow and predictable this is. Really, it’s not. Yet so many fall for it. Why? Do we not want to do the hard work of thinking? Or self-reflection? Or improving? Or moving towards the truth? Or learning about other ways of thinking about situations? Or encountering different cultures and ways of doing things? Or maybe we just think that our learning stops when school ended. That’s a shame really if that is the case. Living things are supposed to continue to grow and learn.

5. Faithful. All of this just pushes me further into the arms of faith. I really have no where else to go. I certainly don’t have faith in our political parties. Everything is so short term – it’s all about winning the next election. Not so that there can be a major change in policy, but instead so that “we” can win. And then it starts all over again for the next cycle. A never ending cycle of trying to win and defeat your opponents – not of actually doing anything. That’s sad. I’m grateful that this isn’t the case of all politicians or news organizations. There are some who get into these industries in order to make a real impact and improve people’s lives. But it it frustrating to see some politicians who really only care about grabbing attention.

All this just confirms that my hope remains in Jesus. Not in a political party, or a politician, or a news source, or money, or fame, or health, or intelligence, or…

Nope, just Jesus. There’s no spin with Jesus. No propaganda. No trying to maintain the status quo. No exhaustion. No spin. None of that. Just Good News. Shalom. Peace. Rest. I need that. The rest I will have to tolerate existing because I don’t have control over it. And I won’t ignore it either. I can’t wish away things I don’t like. I have to deal with the reality of their existence. And then keep going. Living in faith.

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