Wednesday, July 12, 2017


We live in a more polarized political world than I've seen in my short time on the planet.  Although the 80s seemed tranquil, there were some folks who didn't care for it.  The 90s featured a blow job and an impeachment.  The 2000 election was the most contentious I'd yet seen, and it probably kick-started the levels of hyperpartisanship we see today.  And while President Obama won by pretty comfortable margins, it's not like he enjoyed a dissension free tenure either.

However, the level of vitriol never reached the same levels of absurdity as I've seen these last few months.  Love him or hate him, Donald Trump brings passionate feelings on every side.  Intimating that you like and support him can ruin friendships and family relationships.  Saying you oppose him will bring out every defender that ever walked the face of the Earth, even if President Trump does something they opposed just a year ago.  Mention support for a conservative position or a liberal position and you'll find yourself the target of venom you never imagined from folks who are normally civilized.  It's as if our political positions and parties are so tied to our own identities that we are incapable of using any level of objectivity regarding those who think differently.

That's why it baffles me that I see so many writers now getting political.  The only times I've done so on this blog were when I tried writing from various perspectives to see if I could pull it off, and I never gave away which way I lean.  Today, people boycott writers, actors, and comedians who piss them off, even if the person normally enjoys that entertainer's substance.  Maybe when people get to be multi-millionaires, they figure there's no damage when they do or say something both really stupid and really partisan.  However, this is infecting even startup writers and actors who don't have the cache to maybe be an idiot and keep readers or viewers.

Is it because we feel so strongly that we just have to put out our personal views no matter how much that might piss off others?  Is our shouting at the wind really going to change things?  In other words, is it worth alienating half our potential audience so we can "be heard?"  Maybe some feel it is, but don't count me among them.

Folks, stick to writing.  If you want to share your views, do so with your family and friends(if you still have any), but keep it out of the public spotlight.  We need people to buy our stuff.  It may make us feel righteous to say all of this, but even those who agree with us won't necessarily buy our work.  Political views and entertainment tastes rarely coincide.  Just ask The Dixie Chicks.

No comments:

Post a Comment