The Politics Of Love: Why Dating And Voting Are Exactly The Same Thing
Though different in theory, love and politics affect the emotions in similar ways. There's passion, debate, strategies and candidacy. Someone has to win, and someone has to lose.
Ill intentions aside, everyone is fighting for something. So, why is it that people can pick and choose candidates, but they can't wisely pick and choose someone to love?
As we near the primaries in South Carolina and caucuses in Nevada, I question the ballots we cast.
Are love and politics all that different? Whether it is a binding contract or a swearing-in, they both have the same end game.
So, why do we treat them so differently? Why is it that we explore parts unknown for the man or woman to govern our land, but we can not do the same for someone who governs our heart?
In politics, we are told all there is to know about a candidate before we ever cast a ballot, including scandals, likes and dislikes, views on family values and foreign and domestic affairs. We know the age of the their children, the prestigious schooling and their total net worth before candidates enter the first debate.
Pundits analyze their speeches, call their bluffs on certain platforms and prescribe quick fix-its for dropping poll numbers. Yet in relationships, we choose a candidate before we ever learn the basics, or worse, find the skeletons in their closets.
We find men and women in nightclubs, bars, apps and gyms, and we quickly start building a campaign. We list our accomplishments, name our platforms, prepare the best speeches.
We start to concoct a plan, a plan that may or may not tell the whole truth. We make promises we will never keep.
We hold back on personal details, refuse to lurk in dark shadows of the past and hold ourselves to less-than-dignified standards to impress someone we barely know. If we are not open to our pasts and our true selves, how can we expect someone to do the same for us?
We invite strangers into our lives, our homes and our families without knowing if we even see a future with these people. We date multiple people and vie for their votes. We are too busy swiping left or swiping right on a photograph to see the ridiculousness of our actions.
We blame past generations for our current situation, whether it's climate change or failed marriages. We promise ourselves that we will be different and we will bring change, but do humans truly evolve that much from the generation before us?
We hold rallies for political revolutions, but never for a personal revolution. Residents of states across the nation hold debates and raise money for presidential campaigns of candidates who will probably never keep their promises, but the same people manage to allow an individual into their personal lives with no feelings of reckless endangerment.
Why are we willing to throw caution to the wind in order to find a happily ever after, when we aren't sure if this idea even exists?
Divorces are practically impeachments.
Scandal: (noun) disgraceful, shameful or degrading acts or conduct that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society. I am not a cynical person (OK, maybe I am partial to cynicism), but I am a realist. I am aware of the divorce rate, the cover-ups and the multiple parties involved.
When you boil it down, the government scandals do not differ much from the personal scandals we hear or read about daily. We elect an individual to govern, and we hope that this person brings change or an impact into our lives.
Some take the high road and lead, while others are consumed with power and greed. Some honestly try to hold themselves to higher standards, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions.
Many Americans lack faith in their government officials, as well as the idea of marriage. Hundreds of scandals have taken place in the federal government alone since the beginning of our country.
Many involve the big three: sex, money and power. And, when you think about it, the majority of divorces are initiated due to the same three.
Change We Can Believe In
When you boil down the strategies and tactics, grand gestures and romantic endeavors, we all want the same thing: change. We want someone to prove to us that this time it will be different. We want someone to show us that we will get a return on our investment.
We tell ourselves sweet little lies and cross our fingers, knowing that this is never enough. People are complex, and even the best debates and interviewers can be fooled by a poker face.
Love and politics are quite similar, whether we like to admit it or not. We should try our best to choose candidates carefully, but sometimes, all you can do is hope. (And a little grassroots campaigning never hurts.)
I hope you see this article as a reason to embrace the idea of commitment and negotiations, not as a reason to loathe the idea of marriage or democracy. We shouldn't settle for candidates or partners.
Government officials can retire, resign or by the grace of our constitution, leave office after a certain period of time. However, marriage is meant to be a lifelong commitment.
Don't be hasty in your decisions, and always, always know this choice is solely yours. You can never be completely sure you have chosen the right candidate, but you can do your best to listen to your gut and your heart when you cast your ballot.