I’ve been back in the US a few days now. It’s an election year.
Its easy to ignore it somewhat when you are overseas. I was surprised the first couple days back at how many Facebook posts are political. Then I realized, its because I am usually sleeping when everyone in America is posting. Ah. The light went on. That’s why.
It’s funny – I was in the US the last election, and it was mildly surreal, and I was in China during Bush/Kerry. I’ve been watching with a bit of a fascination and as we are in Arkansas, home of the Razorbacks, where team loyalty runs deep, I realized something…….
If you tune out the words, the discussions sound the same.
When did the election process become a sporting event? Has it always been this way?
I don’t really watch UFC, but my husband does, and I have seen it enough in the background to kind of get it. What struck me was how eerily familiar the game seems. Cheap shots, kicking, fouls the primaries were kind of like figuring out the weight divisions and then playing until the knock out while the fans scream and cheer and are rabid, shouting obscenities at each other. Finally the two champions face off for the knock out. They bruise and bloody each other and the fans scream until the referees determine who won. Sports commentators chatter their theories until the final devastating blow.
Then it’s over and everyone forgets until the next match……oh sure the fans trash talk each other regularly, but mostly they just go on with life. The focus switches to the next game. Football or soccer or Congress.
Great entertainment I suppose. But is this a good way to choose a leader? By making an entertaining game out of it?
Are the lines of entertainment and reality getting blurred?
Can Longhorns and Aggies fans get along after the game?
Are things really going to suddenly change our minds in a 24 hour news cycle that something significant will make us change our vote? Or is it just entertainment, like the games?
In medieval times the leaders were chosen by who won the fight – the strongest chieftain for example. Have we really changed that much? We just play word games now. Egging on our opponents fans until one comes out victorious.
Can we be civil in these games anymore? Or is the trash-talk just part of it?
How odd is that? For the record, I just saw “Hunger Games” on a flight, so that might contribute to the associations. It’s kind of funny actually in a shocking sort of way. My students asked me why our elections last so long in America – I think I have an answer. They are entertaining.