Some say that “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” While this statement is undoubtedly true, it can also make for acrimonious relations between people.
Since the Bush 2000 election, while conditions were worsening before that it is no secret that public relations between the citizenry as it concerns American politics have been highly tense. This has increased with each passing year, being driven by social media in addition to the already hostile political climate. While Americans may speak of keeping “religion and politics” from society, it is true that society has come to be defined by public professions of political religion.
It isn’t a stretch to assume that at some point all of that polarization would have a negative effect on the collective well being of the nation, and a new study conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has effectively confirmed this assumption. According to researchers, the current U.S. political climate is making Americans physically sick, damaging friendships, and driving many people “crazy.”
In March of 2017 researchers surveyed 800 Americans, selected from a pool of 1.8 million in order to create representative samples of the U.S. population. Almost 40% admitted that politics is stressing them out, and one in five even said they are losing sleep over U.S. politics.
“It became apparent, especially during the 2016 electoral season, that this was a polarized nation, and it was getting even more politically polarized,” comments study leader and political scientist Kevin Smith in a release. “The cost of that polarization to individuals had not fully been accounted for by social scientists or, indeed, health researchers.”
Smith even described the study’s findings as akin to a public health crisis. (source)
According to the survey, 800 people were asked to answer a total of 32 questions in four categories: physical health, regretted behavior, social or lifestyle costs, and mental health. The questions were designed to gauge just how much respondents believed politics were to blame for their problems.
11.5% said that politics had adversely impacted their physical health, while 31.8% said that being exposed to news channels whose views they disagree with was driving them “crazy.” A significant portion (29.3%) even said they had lost their temper due to politics. Friendships aren’t safe either, with one in five respondents admitting that opposing political views had hurt at least one of their friendships. Another 22.1% said they “care too much” about who wins and loses elections.
As an interesting note, the respondents who identified themselves as more liberal than conservative displayed higher stress levels.
“One of the things that we’re really interested in is: What happens if a very left-leaning person is elected into the White House?” Smith speculates. “Do the symptoms stay the same but shift across the ideological spectrum?”
Politics is important, but so is a man’s individual health, which is something that politicians ultimately do not care about at all.
The national elections are largely pre-set due to the fact that all of the candidates support a socialist agenda and behind the scenes are close friends. This is something that developed for many years and is beyond the control of most people.
What the individual man has control over is himself and his responses.
Why worry about that which one cannot control?
Likewise, while one should be concerned, think of the political show as an attempt to lure people into a false sense of reality in order to distract them from more serious issues, such as economic problems.
The political system is also going to get worse, so there will be more people feeling angst. However, this will change nothing.
As I noted before, the thread on 4Chans political board that gets shut down the most is the one that promotes self-care and improvement. This is because politics begins with the self, and if one can change oneself, then politics naturally follows.
The current political order has a vested interest in keeping the individual in a state of suspended animation by having him invest his energy into meaningless arguments. However, they can only inspire and motivate him to do this, because they cannot force him.
Be aware of what is happening, but not to the detriment of one’s health and sanity. Instead, work on helping secure one’s sanity because it will be necessary to ensure personal stability as the society gets worse. A clear mind is a less-easily manipulated one, and discernment is more necessary than ever when, as the government has admitted, the disinformation campaigns become so advanced that it is almost impossible to distinguish between truth and falsehood.
For those who would argue, let them argue because all they are doing is wasting their time.