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The Fault Lies In Ourselves

The Fault Lies In Ourselves

by Kevin Kelton

While we watch the slow, painful destruction of our political system, we should take a moment to reflect that we did this to ourselves. Every one of us. We bought into the politics of hate. We bought into the politics of cults. We devoured negative ads and delighted in dirty, underhanded campaigns. (This goes for the liberals as well.) We believed the worst in our candidates and pilloried them for being human. We gave ratings to hate. We rewarded crassness and punished civility.

We relished the character stoning of dedicated career politicians and even threw rocks ourselves on social media. Calling people crooks and c*nts, too old or too rich or too low energy, too black or not black enough… pretending that one candidate was virtuous while the other was criminal. 

It was a modern day Salem witch trial. Mass hysteria and all.

I did it. You did it. Every single one of us did it. Even the sanctimonious voters – they did it by shitting on the candidates that didn’t live up to their lofty ideals. In fact, idealists are among the worst offenders, because debasing others makes them feel morally superior.

We all know we turned politics into a spectator sport decades ago. But now we’ve turned it into professional wrestling. Or worse, mud wrestling. We forgot about values and honor and intelligence and experience. Smart and competent was too dull while crazed and crass somehow became “refreshing.”

We are all at fault. I accept my share of the blame. Do you accept yours?

Kevin Kelton is co-host of the More Perfect Union podcast and founder of the Facebook political debate group, Open Fire.

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