When Politics is So Extreme It’s Apolitical

I used to be interested in politics as a force for good. Now, I just tune in to see the crashes. I don’t have a lot more to say on the subject.

This paragraph of a larger piece written after last night’s first Romney-Obama debate, struck home:

It was probably at this point that my interest in following politics went from sincere interest to something far more craven and black-hearted. I think most politically engaged people have undergone a similarly soul-shriveling realization. You’re not following politics, not anymore; you’re learning the black art of subtly inflicted mnemonics. So you stop listening to what our politicians say and instead start calculating the moron-response factor: How will this play on Main Street? This is the polite, Candy Crowley way of admitting that citizens who can’t be bothered to figure out their own core convictions are now in the socially calamitous position of determining our great nation’s fate. These were the people Obama and Romney were mostly talking to the other night, despite the debate’s astronomically high wonk factor. If we’re measuring debate success by how intimately the Undecideds felt mentally caressed, Mitt Romney was the clear winner, having out-caressed President Obama by a magnitude best measured in fifty shades of gray.

My interest shriveled when cries of racism flew through the air if you didn’t like Obama. And at the same time, Hillary Clinton got actual nasty, rough treatment beyond “just politics” for being a woman – by Democrats. And she was called a racist, too, just for kicks, for her temerity in thinking she could do a better job.