It’s a phrase, and a philosophy, encountered surprisingly often. When the conversation turns to national and global affairs, many of your fellow Americans will jump back like you threw acid on them or freeze you with a tight-lipped smile, shrug, and tell you, “Sorry. I don’t do politics.”
Really now. Aren’t you just precious!
Well, you may not “do” politics, but politics certainly “do” you. Every single day in every possible way. No lube either.
It appears that some Smug Suburbanites believe that not “doing” politics raises them above the rabble. A sign of refinement, as if an unwillingness to engage in civil discourse about current events is proof of good manners and upbringing.
After all, politics is for frothing-at-the-mouth extremists, not highly functioning adults with actual lives.
This attitude is dangerous for society, but a gift for those who seek to exploit and oppress us. As always, those in power count on our selfishness and apathy to accomplish their goals, and we haven’t let them down yet.
The willfully ignorant who are above politics all have one thing in common. They have never been a victim of the system. Even though these are the very same people who watched their neighbors forced from their homes a decade ago, last year, and last week, they still think they are immune from a similar fate.
They don’t know or care that others are dying needlessly due to a lack of healthcare services. They hear stories about the legions of kids who can’t afford college or trade school, but generally place the blame on the parents for not being, you know — rich.
Since the Smug Suburbanites remain basically unscathed, the problem doesn’t exist to them. They can still afford the nice car and yearly vacations. They scamper to jewelry stores and car dealerships and pay a fortune for crap they don’t need, except to give them a false sense of stability.
Here’s hoping they enjoy it while it lasts because it’s these folks who are next on the corporate chopping block. The corporate elites have already decimated the poor worker bees. It’s time to advance up the ladder and hunt those higher on the food chain. Their salaries, retirement plans, and employer-provided healthcare do not provide safety or promise a future of continued prosperity.
And since all of the safety nets to assist struggling Americans have been dismantled or substantially reduced, it could be a very rude awakening indeed.
But because so many Americans “don’t do politics” they have no idea what’s looming, and probably wouldn’t believe it anyway. After all, they are good, hardworking people, not like those poors with their hands out for freebies.
How quickly it’s forgotten that these people living in poverty were their next-door-neighbors not so long ago.
And they are not even remotely aware that only dumb luck has protected them thus far (being mostly white also doesn’t hurt), no matter how fervently they believe it’s their virtuous hard work keeping them in that McMansion and Lexus.
This arrogant ignorance runs rampant, fueled by privilege and perpetrated by our capitalist culture.
Virtue has nothing to do with one’s socio-economic status. It never has, but in the current climate that counts double.
That being said, the oligarchs are never satiated. The destruction of the poor and the working class is just the beginning. They are coming for the solidly middle and upper-middle classes too.
And the Smug Suburbanites cannot hide behind their stock portfolio any more than their blue-collar neighbors could depend on that sweet, well-paying union job.
Politics is not a spectator sport, and you’re in the game whether you want to be or not.
The least you can do to protect yourself and your family is accept some harsh realities and plan accordingly. You have been warned and given a head start, an advantage that millions of Americans didn’t have a decade ago when their lives unraveled.
Use the information wisely.