Social Question

josie's avatar

Do you think the current obsession with politics is sort of weird?

Asked by josie (30931points) November 27th, 2018

I am not that old, and yet I sort of regard it as a distant memory when the center of people’s lives was family, friends, career and those very human and personal things that give meaning to life.

Now, more and more it’s all about politics. Sometimes even discarding those human values for politics. Personal example: My aunt and uncle (my parents are dead) always have a cocktail party over Thanksgiving. Our family has always been diverse in it’s politics (including my late Mom and Dad). This year, their daughter, home from her PhD program, refused to attend. She said she did not want to associate with the “other side”, because it made her feel unsafe [a family function!]. One of my golfing buddies quit playing with our group for essentially the same reason-well, in his case it was not because he felt unsafe. It was because he got pissed off at a friend he has known and enjoyed for 15 years! Over politics.

And for what? So that politicians can exploit, divide and conquer even more effectively? And rest assured they do just that.

In my opinion, that is pretty weird.

In fact, I think it is sick.

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28 Answers

notnotnotnot's avatar

@josie: “Over politics.”

What if what you describe as “politics” is literally life and death to others? What if visiting people who want you and your loved ones to have no autonomy of your body, don’t feel that you have a right to live, want to lock up your neighbors and coworkers, are working hard to make sure you and your kids have no future worth living for, and are set on destroying the planet is an unhealthy thing?

What you are describing as “sick” seems to fall under healthy self-care in many scenarios.

chyna's avatar

I have a very good friend of 20 years who is a big Trump supporter. We have agreed to not discuss politics because we are on opposite sides. She has brought up Trump on occasion and I remain silent or we will get into it.

Zaku's avatar

No, what’s sick is how extremely so many politicians have shifted to not even trying to conceal that they are corporate tools with agendas like putting industry desire to pollute and destroy our few remaining natural areas (even parks) for exploitation, and other inhumane policies.

I’m actually fairly disheartened and disgusted that more Americans didn’t react more strongly sooner.

It’s not “obsession with politics” – it’s that the stakes (environmental destruction, no affordable health care, looting social security & medicare, increasingly massive wealth disparity, environmental crises, endless wars, incompetent corporate shills heading all government offices, blundering blowhard scumbag idiot in the white house, terrible Supreme Court appointees) and the identity crisis in the USA have gotten pretty extreme.

mazingerz88's avatar

Not weird. I bet if Romney or Bush won things wouldn’t end up this bad and sick.

canidmajor's avatar

When I find out that people I cared about no longer bother to hide their racist and/or sexist and/or homophobic beliefs (that I knew nothing about, previously, because they knew it was unacceptable to feel that way) because the current administration makes it okay to express such things, then yes, “politics” tears us apart.

When my family of origin hated the idea of the ACA (wealthy mother on Medicare with good supplements, sister on Medicare with adequate supplements, other sister in Canada) because they hated Obama, I estranged myself from them because of “politics”. BTW, I was uninsurable because of cancer, with a 30% likelihood of recurrence, which, without coverage, would kill me. Thanks Mom.

So how about you look a little deeper into what “politics” really is. Read @notnotnotnot’s post a couple of times. Wake up.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I believe you are correct, people are finally taking it seriously, but it is creating some very personal situational bad feelings.

In a way, I have always taken it seriously, as has my family. We realize politics and laws affect people’s lives and have been involved in certain aspects for the majority of my life.

That being said, when you hear people (even on fluther) talking about losing their lives due to no healthcare, and shooting or gassing people at our border, it turns very serious. These are not hypothetical, two decades from now situations, it’s happening now to real people. So yes, people take it very seriously.

I think we can all agree we’ve seen the divide here on this website quite often. The passionate responses from both sides, passionate posts from people who don’t even live in this country – to me, that means Trump has done at least one thing right. He’s making us all see, even with his mistakes, how serious politics are. And how electing a non-politician as a last-ditch effort to regain some control/ family values, can turn out.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s exhausting and a huge negative for society in my opinion. Interest in politics is very important, but the obsession that we have observed the last 20 years is terrible in my opinion. It plagues every part of the day for so many people. I think it probably has contributed to higher stress levels and even health problems. It is probably also helping more extreme politicians to be be elected.

mazingerz88's avatar

It’s exhausting in every aspect, this “political” obsession. But without it, it’s clear American democracy dies.

It feels weird and surreal because it came suddenly for most people without any warning.

Demosthenes's avatar

Participation in the political process is a good thing. The kind of tribalism that we are seeing now is not. It’s unfortunate that the two are coinciding. As people become more invested in politics, they became more tribal, more us vs. them and more intolerant of compromise. In some ways I do see it as weird. We were very divided in the late 60s, but back then you could cite the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement as the catalysts. What’s the catalyst now? Trump? A general malaise that no one can quite define? That’s reassuring.~

The fact is that the nastiness and division doesn’t make me want to invest in politics more, it makes me want to divest from it. I want to get away from it before it destroys my relationships with people. I think what @JLeslie is true, that it may actually have a negative effect on people’s health. It’s making people more anxious, stressed, and irritable.

zenvelo's avatar

It isn’t politics. It’s human rights, bodily autonomy, and racism.

During the sixities, families fractured over the Vietnam War, over civil rights, and over “Women’s Lib”.

The same issues are present today in American society. Civil rights are being eroded each and every day; an over-armed, militarized police force is killing black people so often it is routine. Abortion rights and control over one’s body are under constant attack by legislatures.

And all this because a black man was elected President, and Rick Santelli called for his removal from the White House as a failure after a month in office.

janbb's avatar

I was just trying to help get an immigrant’s dying nephew a death bed visit from his father who had been deported. The nephew died in the meantime.

Anyone who thinks politics today is too prevalent is probably in a privileged position and not paying attention to what is going on around them.

I am privileged too in that I am able to enjoy much in my life but I won’t be ignorant of what is happening around me.

flutherother's avatar

I think politics in the United States has become very weird and unpredictable and people have become very concerned and worried about human rights, jobs, the economy, health, global warming and the future in general.

In the UK, things are no better and opinion is very polarised over the issue of Brexit with half the public wanting to come out of Europe, half wanting to stay in and almost no one in favour of the agreed terms.for coming out which will be put to the British parliament on 11 December. It is the old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times.”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

One last post,
It’s not kinda weird, it’s a sickness.

josie's avatar

Isn’t that what I said

canidmajor's avatar

“Sick” because those of us whose rights are literally in danger of being stripped away by political decisions are trying to avoid those who applaud the loss of our civil rights? Or perhaps it’s (in your minds) “sick” of us to want to avoid those whom we perceive to behave without compassion or decency to others less fortunate?

Yeah, I’m just that sick.

Mariah's avatar

It always baffles me when people have a sense of superiority over being able to compartmentalize their friends’ and family’s political views and maintain relationships regardless of disagreements.

Sure, it sounds good in theory, but really stop and think for a second. What makes a good friend? Why are you friends with a particular person? Isn’t a portion of it shared values? Isn’t a portion of it their support – the idea that they genuinely want you to be well and safe and okay in this world?

This happened to me recently. I learned a “friend” thought the ACA was a bad idea and wanted it to be overturned completely. Back to the old healthcare system, where I could be denied coverage for being sick. Where I would die. I thought about our friendship, and really we had bonded over a mutual interest in birds and knitting. It had never been a “deep” friendship and the realization that she was perfectly fine with a system that would kill me made me question being friends with her. Sure, we could stay casual acquaintances and chat about birds and yarn only, but it’s hard to really feel great about a person who literally doesn’t think I have the right to be alive. I “unfriended” her.

If it is not hurtful to YOU when your “friends” and family vote in ways that would harm you, maybe consider stopping for a moment, taking a look inwards, and assessing whether your level of vulnerability/safety is affecting the way you’re feeling.

What’s the worst thing that happens to YOU if the party you don’t like comes into power?

Does it hurt your pocketbook?

Does it give you a sense of unease and sadness over the direction of morality in the country?

Or does it put your life at risk? Your loved ones’ lives?

One of these things is not like the others. If you’re not in the latter group you have no right to judge those of us who are.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Mariah After reading many of your posts, I have to say that I feel you are condemning a lot of people for an opinion we do not all share. If I vote Republican again, it may be for a variety of issues, not just healthcare and certainly not whether you live or die.

If your death is a partial result of my vote, then I’m sorry that happens, but it is not my primary focus when I go to the polls.

chyna's avatar

^Sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t know why you bring this up now. My post was about a friend who specifically supported policies that would kill me. I didn’t unfriend her earlier, when I knew she had voted for Trump, or when she posted lots of other shit on Facebook that I disagreed with pertaining to other Republican viewpoints. I unfriended her when it became personal, because she expressed a view that was directly harmful to me.

But, yes, I’m well aware that you’re more interested in having the right to control my personal medical decisions than you are in making sure that I and hundreds of thousands of other sick people don’t die, and that that is what motivates your votes most of the time. That much you have already made very clear.

I get it. I’m collateral damage to you. That’s acceptable to you. You are willing to trade sick people for fetuses. Those are the priorities you have chosen.

I’m allowed to judge you for that, just as you can judge me all you want for valuing personal bodily autonomy over the lives of fetuses.

Our values are just different.

canidmajor's avatar

Pots and kettles, @KNOWITALL. I have seen you roundly defend the removal of the right to bodily autonomy, in the face of @Mariah’s discussion of how such a decision could literally cost her her life.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “If your death is a partial result of my vote, then I’m sorry that happens, but it is not my primary focus when I go to the polls.”

What the fuck?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Mariah I bring it up because you asked us to think about it in your post. Maybe that was just for liberals, who knows, but I’d think you’d want to sway the few Reps here if anyone. But it’s not the ONLY factor in voting for me or anyone else I know, nor is abortion, or the environment, etc…it’s many factors.

If you want to judge me, please feel free, that’s your prerogative, but it’s my prerogative to tell you are are making false assumptions.

chyna's avatar

Oh I feel TOTALLY free to judge you @knowitall. And very harshly.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@chyna Free country, I won’t lose any sleep…lol

notsoblond's avatar

Wow. Just wow.

This is why I finally let go of a 40 year friendship with my best friend since 2nd grade.


My friend supported Republican policies that would deny my child access to bathrooms.

Every fucking day my transgender son holds his pee in public so he isn’t ridiculed or harassed.

Every fucking day

Do I think it’s weird? Fuck no. I’m fighting for my child.

notsoblond's avatar

*Do I think the current so-called obsession with politics is weird.

Fuck no.

You’d think the same if you had to fight for yourself or a loved one.

wish I had staff for this~

Some of you lead a very privileged white, male dominated, heterosexual life.

canidmajor's avatar

I just saw this today, it explains pretty well why these things happen. I got sick to death of being attacked at family gatherings because I didn’t agree with people freely talking about political views that I found abhorrent, and I was told to just “put up with it and stay quiet out of respect for others” if I didn’t like it.

I finally decided to relive them of the burden of reprimanding me.

I would like the freedom to enjoy the holidays, too. I have it now, this is a good thing for all of us.

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