Does it not make your skin crawl when someone says they’re a fan of a politician? Just me? Surely not!
People used to be fans of sports teams, television programs, comic books, and bands. Now we see people waxing faint at the mere mention of their preferred pol on Facebook — or booing the one they loathe like he or she is a wrestling heel.
These people are the employees of the American people. Your president, senator, congressperson and alderman are not The People’s Champion. It’s like heading to Trader Joe’s and rooting for Chuck in bagging versus Gina in the stockroom. You give these people your money to do very specific tasks for you. Why would anyone choose to admire, defend, or excoriate them at the expense of interacting with their own friends and family?
Is it because they’re on TV? It’s because they’re on TV, huh?
Full disclosure: normally, I am physically incapable of being a fan of someone who thinks they’re smart enough or powerful enough to be in charge of my life and how I live it. There was a short period of time, some years back, when I was on a medication that made me hallucinate smoke, electrical fires, and that a certain candidate was going to ACTUALLY FIX THE WORLD OMG. I even contacted people to tell them this, like some bizarre, hallucinating, political evangelist.
This same medication also made me think it was vitally important that I watch the Pokemon cartoon every morning at 6 A.M. Needless to say, when I no longer had to take this med, I went back to my normal self of the previous decades, where the sight and sound of any politician from the president on down on my television made me roll my eyes and shout things. Party doesn’t matter. If you’re enough of a narcissist to think you can do the job, I don’t like you. I’ll pray for you, but I don’t like you.
Wasn’t America founded by people who didn’t want to really be governed all that much, with a bunch of folk that didn’t really want the job? What happened to the American people? Why do they talk about their favorite elected person like they personally came to their house and cleaned or something?
You hired them — or you didn’t, but now have what boils down to your second choice working for you. If you honestly, truly think they deserve Employee of the Month, that’s great. But do they deserve to be revered and spoken about like the very good friend who helped you move after a divorce?
Maybe this is a hold over from the medieval battlefield. Maybe our first world lives are so safe and boring now, we need a substitute for king and banner to rally behind. Maybe a lawyer in a suit who’s on TV half the month talking about policy is the modern flag bearer. Maybe your lawyer in a suit is better than their lawyer in a suit. It’s just wool now instead of plate steel.
I guess we can’t help the existence of primal instincts. We evidently still need them, as we haven’t evolved away our limbic system yet. I do hope people start engaging that frontal cortex more, evaluating information rather than reacting immediately to it like a saber tooth tiger or an enemy army’s banner.
We shouldn’t be responding to public servants like kings and queens. We shouldn’t let the news tell us to, either. Reserve the fandom for creative and athletic endeavors. Those things actually move and inspire us. Those who tell us what we have to do and whom we can do it with should get an employee evaluation, not adulation. Don’t you think?