What’s Going On Over There?

A good friend who is a citizen of New Zealand recently asked me that, becoming aware of the growing ‘separatism’ here in the US over our politics. My response to her:

It seems a number of factors have come together to form the ‘perfect storm’ over here, but my personal belief is it’s driven mostly by the systemic corruption that has taken over our government.  I understand that corruption has always existed, but big money has now become the primary incentive motivating our elected officials, leaving the business of working for ‘the people’ as a mere footnote, and almost everyone is feeling the effects and is sick of it.  And even though we have this common cause, our two-party politics has created this great divide as each side points fingers at the other.  The adult skills of listening and compromise have completely been forgotten as the sides get more deeply entrenched.  …  Even the media has taken sides, with money driving the need for better ratings, and each source pandering to their chosen side of the divide.  It’s very frustrating these days to simply figure out what the truth is.  … And then there is this recent election, which was more about voting for the lessor of two evils rather than for whom you liked, simply because decent, honest, intelligent people don’t want to get involved in our corrupt politics, so they don’t run for office.  Thus, our choice was, 1. the same old corrupt establishment that was Hillary, or 2. the narcissist billionaire who promised to stop the corruption by ‘draining the swamp’.   The promise of change won out, but that change may be more than we bargained for.  All this craziness has awoken even those who never paid attention to politics before, and they find themselves caught between wanting to do their patriotic duty by voicing their opinion and staying quiet so as not to alienate friends and family who have differing perspectives.  As they say, it is history in the making.

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