Ah yes, the smell of politics

“It is fast approaching the point where I don’t want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job.”  Erma Bombeck

We have just finished the first round of primaries here in my quaint, little seaside village and man did it get ugly.  A personal friend was running for state government seat, someone I have known for twenty five plus years, who is an all around stand up good guy, along with his wife and kids….just really nice people, so this was kinda personal for me.  Imagine my dismay when my friend was being attacked in these ads with false and misleading information.

Let me introduce you to my little friend, the political action committee.  These PACs are like the back alley hit men of yesteryear, waiting patiently to take a lead pipe to the back of your knees to keep you from desired objective (or Olympic gold medal).

I’m reminded of a Pinterest funny that a friend posted a few days ago, “Whenever I’m extremely bored with life, I post a political status on Facebook and watch my friends battle it out like crips and bloods.”  Yep, that about sums it up.

But this is not where I reflect on my own political beliefs although I will interject that I find that neither side adequately represents whats important for our country at the national level,  they’re just too far detached from reality.

Back to my friends political race, I woke one morning and did my usual internet reading-national news, local news, yahoo, then Facebook.  An overnight article posting for local news talked about the latest ad that was going to be starting and the comments were dumbfounding.  People were calling my friend an anti-semite and any other vile comment they could think of.  I just couldn’t believe it.  Enter your back alley hitmen, the political action committee.  Today’s controversial political ads are run by PACs, not the campaign itself and it continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Which leads me to my next rant and why I’ve had to swear off the 24 hour news cycle.  Some of you may know that I am a home health nurse by trade, which means I go into people’s homes, take vital signs, review medications, and teach people about their disease.  One particular patient I was seeing was constantly battling high blood pressure and was in a constant state of low level agitation.  I thought and pondered on what could be bothering him until his wife lashed out one day while I was there and said, “Its that damn Foxnews, he keeps it on and watches it all day….”  Huh, well looky here, I might have an answer.  As we went through the education process of what high blood pressure was, what the long term effects to his health were, etc., etc. I challenged my patient to turn off the damn TV.  I told him (its my time and my job so I get to make the rules) that he was allowed 30 minutes of national news per day and 30 minutes of local news.  It was time to go back to the old traditional news gathering method of the 6 and 6:30 p.m. news.  For two days, he was to swear off Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, and no internet news.  Also, no Boortz, Limbaugh, or Hannity (see above for rules of job).  I told him that if I’m right about my suspicions, he’ll see a 20 to 30 point drop in his systolic blood pressure (top number).  You would have thought I just shot his dog by the look on his face.  “I can’t do that, I have to know whats going on, what will I do all day?”  “Read a book, do a puzzle, do something but if you want me to keep coming and help you get to feeling better, you’re going to have to meet me half way.”  Begrudgingly, he did as instructed.  I contacted the wife later that evening and she said he was pacing around the house like a tweaker looking for a fix, but she held firm.  When I returned to a quiet house two days later, I found him calm and relaxed and his blood pressure was lower by 20 points.  To confirm my suspicions I let him go back to the 24 hour news cycle and the same problem repeated itself.  So we discussed it again and basically I told him “look, being plugged in to this 24 hour news cycle is bad for your health, turn it off, its making you crazy and damaging your health.”  He agreed and by the time I discharged him he had kicked his news addiction.

More and more I am coming across people, mostly men, who are plugged in to this 24 hour news cycle and its making them ill as snakes.  I personally had to detach myself from all of it after the last election cycle because I was becoming mad, constantly.  It made me an unhappy person.   Once I figured it out, I myself, swore off of Fox News, Boortz, Limbaugh, and Hannity.  I was powerless beyond my vote and contacting my congressman to make a difference, so why expend all this energy.  I find myself occasionally checking in to see what stupidity has occurred but for the most part, I’ve gone back to the 6 and 6:30 news cycle.  All I need to know is right there in that one hour of time.  Each morning I check foxnews.com to make sure that we haven’t declared war on another third world country and that the world is still spinning as it should, but for the most part, I’m done with it.

“The beatings will continue ’til moral improves….”

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