Well, it is not even officially summer yet of 2015, but sooner than later we will be inundated with the political process of the 2016 presidential elections, oozing into every pore and crack of our daily lives. Like a toxic waste spill, poisoning all it touches, our television programming will be filled with mud slinging, political rhetoric, and fear mongering as talk, comedy, news, and opinion-based talk programs and commercials bombard us, sucking the souls from our bodies, like a miasma vaporously seeping from our eyes. I think I speak for a majority of Americans when I say that I am sick of this polarized political process, and already cringe knowing that it is right around the corner, starting earlier and earlier every election cycle. Just when you thought it was safe to turn the television on again, you will begin to hear lies, not knowing what to filter from your mind.
So, as we listen to misleading information, straight-out lies, and the occasional truth, here is a list of political buzzwords that will barge into your life, like the Kool-Aid Man busting through that brick wall, yelling ‘oh yeah.’ And remember, as the season goes on–the longest of any season we know–it is perfectly acceptable to vomit in your mouth, when you hear some of these incredibly pandering and condescending terms.
The definition for pledge, is a solemn promise or undertaking. I guess most candidates have never read a dictionary–do fingers crossed behind the back count. Maybe at all future debates, the moderator should ask the candidates to have both their hands on their podiums at all times.
In the next year we will hear thousands of pledges, spoken down from candidates’ bully pulpits as they tell us what they intend to do, while never explaining how then intend on doing it. Here’s my pledge. I pledge to you I will not drink any beer for the next year. Seems as legit and believable as most of the promises candidates make.
America must endure! Because, you know, we aren’t doing that already. I guess they mean we must remain as polarized in politics as we are today, and continue to not work together. Or maybe they are saying, that our senators and politicians must remain part of the 1%, while they represent blue-collared working and middle class citizens, because, they know what it feels like to live paycheck by paycheck. How’s that Bentley treating you? Is that America’s endurance?
3.) Take Back America
Now in this scenario, who are we taking America back from? Shouldn’t this be the slogan of the Native Americans? I mean, didn’t we take America from them. Oh, that’s right, I forgot. Some historians–who politically lean a certain way–would posit that since Native Americans didn’t believe in ownership of the land, rather they practiced usufruct rights–the ownership or rights, not the physical land, to resources in areas and regions which they held control over–we didn’t take land from them, because they, themselves, believed they didn’t own it. Because, that’s a legit argument…for Victorian times…as a white British imperialist, wearing a pith helmet and all out khakis, as he plods his way through the jungles of borneo, believing his white superiority over the black natives–savages according to his mind–as he commodifies his expeditions for future colonization. But, I digress.
Again, I ask, who are we taking America back from? The migrant workers who pick the lettuce and vegetables in fields for us? Rake blueberries in the fields? Pick our strawberries? Alright, send them back, so we can eat ten dollar bags of lettuce. Yep, solid argument. Yeah we can live on bags of cheap Doritos. Who needs vegetables and fruit? We should totally take our country back from those social system abusing immigrants. Because, you know, none of us or our families, were ever immigrants in this nation. Maybe hypocrisy should be a buzzword used during campaigns, American Hypocrisy. Perfect.
Like a self-conscious woman who feels she needs plastic surgery, because the film industry can’t deal with crows feet around the eyes, or the man who goes to the gym every day, two hours a day, to keep his six-pack abs rock hard and defined, America must transform. We must transform to mirror the image of what our rich senators say we should be. We must transform our nation to represent what rich, blue-blooded, deep-rooted, American families envision for us, because, they are in touch with the majority of Americans.
I always imagine the family from Wedding Crashers the Clearys, as our politicians. So out of touch, on their southern plantation, having their yacht transport them for a weekend gathering. In my mind the Clearys represent true American politics, “two of the great American families, the Clearys and the Lodges, will finally unite.” Let’s play some touch football…and go quail hunting…and sail the yacht.
Like a piece of saran wrap, politicians want American government to be as clear as can be, except when its their own past, finances, and records in the Senate. I think wax paper is a better representation of the transparency which is really fought for, a little foggy, yet you can tell vague shapes through the slippery, filmy piece of kitchen paper, like a slime or a scummy film, coating the piece of paper.
6.) American Exceptionalism
I had to leave this one for last, being my favorite of all these listed. This is the phrase I loath the most. I regurgitate my lunch whenever I hear this bantered around, used like post-modern is as an adjective. This phrase is a favorite of many politicians because it paints a GREAT American narrative. Well, there are segments of American history that represent a great narrative, this is true, except that this idea of exceptionalism ignores the darker side of our history. Hey, I’m not anti-America. There are good and bad sides to all history, and by ignoring the dark side, it doesn’t make it go away. Hahaha, lock that creepy uncle in the closet, he doesn’t fit in with our family’s aesthetic, he’s more an artist.
As I hold back the vomit writing about this term, I must think that you have to be a great snake oil salesperson to peddle the rhetoric that most politicians sell to us. To an extent, they have to believe what they preach to us, or it wouldn’t be believable to most constituents. So, in the end, when a politician tells you they believe in American Exceptionalism, that means they want to turn history into a comic book, where only supermen exist, women are ancillary characters–most of the time as sexual characters–and people of other ethnicities kind of exist in the background, rarely playing the lead role, having very stereotypical roles.
So in the next year, as our politicians try to sell you the American narrative, I say, screw them. We write that story everyday. Their buzzwords and rhetoric tell us nothing, but what they are trying to sell, and like a used car salesmen, they will say anything to get that flood-damaged, bought-at-auction car off their lot.