BREAKING: Donald Trump’s rise in the Republican party is still an affront to me and, I hope, any critically thinking Americans. On the flip side, I’m souring on Hillary as well. In truth, I’m tired of the political landscape in the US. It’s bitter. It’s divisive. It’s a joke. Unfortunately, it’s not even a good joke like you might find birthed from the fertile grounds of Jon Stewart’s former milieu, The Daily Show. Fortunately, Jon Stewart joined David Axelrod for a taping of The Axe Files at The University of Chicago Institute of Politics (if you’re bothered by swearing, consider this your warning).
I’ve watched this video multiple times and find myself agreeing with Stewart (far more than I probably should) and Axelrod when he stands up to Stewart (when his ideology sweeps a little too broadly). Stewart levels his aim at Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, the media, and the whole political system. He also manages to articulate what has been niggling at the back of my brain about Hillary over the past few months – her inauthenticity. I’ve noticed the pauses they mention regarding her rhetoric and something wasn’t processing in my head. His depiction of press secretaries approaching him on behalf of their candidates was both sad and enlightening. Why is “he could… or she could say what she thinks… about the issues concerning America” such a foreign concept? Why is “speak your beliefs” such a sticking point?
The point that stuck with me most was his comment regarding politics and the internet (it’s near the end of the Q&A) and its ability to elevate or denigrate. The reason it resonates so strongly is because it agrees with my philosophy (intensified over the past decade) – it’s far easier to destroy than to create. As a society, we spend far more time denigrating those around us (be they friends, coworkers, or even random people on the internet) than elevating them. This doesn’t mean I feel we should, as a society, perpetuate this whole “everyone deserves a participation trophy” mentality. I just don’t believe it’s necessary to reach out to someone to tear down their efforts. How hard is it to keep your mouth shut? Have people forgotten their mother’s advice, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Do mothers even give this advice anymore?
Feel free to watch the video and form your own opinion (not that you need my permission).