American democracy and breakfast – ignore the polls (and poles)

Ed Park, MD dr ed park, News, politics Leave a Comment

img_6500For nearly every day for the last five years, I have gone to this wonderful bakery and ordered a coffee and pastry. Today, after casting my vote, I noticed there was a giant pole which I had never seen (but which obviously had always been there):

This reminded me of comedy show I saw with Louis CK at the Forum with over 20,000 people. He told a story of how his young daughter reported a human feces in the classroom every day when they came back from lunch.  She asked “who would do that?” Louis replied “someone must be doing that.” To which the daughter replied: “that’s crazy. No one would do that.” Kind of sums up how I feel about this election—  #lesserevilvoting

When I look at the partisan rancor (bolstered by facts) that has emerged from this presidential election, I realize that most people are unable to see what is truly there because they don’t believe it is there. It isn’t that “seeing is believing”. It actually works the other way around: you can only see what you already believe. And you can’t wake someone who is just pretending to be asleep.

Unfortunately, we are so distracted by who would satisfy our identity politics or be the lesser of two evils that we can’t even perceive the giant poles or smell the fresh turds. There are a lot of  real problems facing this nation: impending conflict with the Russian/Iranian alliance, $19 trillion debt, underemployment, the robot economy, corporatism, political persecution, and the erosion of the Bill of Rights, just to name a few.

Meanwhile, we are treating this election as an gladiatorial conflict rather than an opportunity to discuss improving things. I would urge everyone to think deeply about what it means to be complicit in your own subjugation. Knee jerk consumption of corporate media, demagoguery, and blind faith will be cold comfort when the your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness have been taken from you.

Perhaps there are still people who aren’t so easy to threaten, bribe, or blackmail that would be willing to serve? Perhaps the litmus test for being president should be not wanting the job?  If our 9th president, George Washington had been subject to coercion, we probably would have forced him into being king.

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