On the day after the mid-term elections this year, I wrote that I think it’s a little sad when people treat politics like it’s the end-all-be-all in life. If you’re not friends with me on Facebook, then you may have missed the discussion that followed. It was lively, passionate, and well-reasoned. But ultimately, I think the people who took issue with what I wrote simply misunderstood me. I take responsibility for that. As a writer, it’s my job to express my thoughts clearly and succinctly. So let me give you a real-world example of what I’m talking about.
Right now Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, is a finalist on the ABC show Dancing with the Stars. To be honest, I haven’t watched this season, but the general consensus I’ve heard from people who have is that she’s not good enough to really win, but she’s also not nearly as bad as Kate Gosselin (click that link, and prepare for awful at the 2:37 mark). So, apparently, it’s a little surprising that she’s in the finals. But whatever, maybe it’s a weak season, right?
Not if you’re a blogger and/or political nut with no life. Check out this story. Here are the high points in case you don’t have time to read it:
The next morning, “Dancing” fan Kimberly Fishman arrived at her job at a northern California bank. She was furious at the result, and so were co-workers. “People were saying it’s the tea party voting, that all of Alaska voted,” says Fishman, 42. “It’s all politics.”
Fishman, who identifies herself as a liberal, has resolved not to watch next week. “I’m done,” she says. “No one could say Bristol is the better dancer.” And yet, she adds, she herself didn’t vote.
…and even more weirdly…
…a Wisconsin man shot up his television, apparently in disgust over Palin’s dancing.
The claim is apparently that the Tea Party is fixing Dancing with the Stars, that Tea Partiers are forming a massive voting block in order to ensure a Palin victory. And, at its most extreme, these people seem to believe that the Tea Party is fixing Dancing with the Stars in order to further Sarah Palin’s political career. In fact, a woman on the Today Show this morning (forgive me for not catching her name; when she said this, my jaw hit the floor so hard I blacked out for a minute…) said, “At this point, a vote for Bristol Palin [on Dancing with the Stars] is a vote for Sarah Palin.”
Really? I mean, really?!
Let me reiterate what I wrote on November 3rd: How you voted [on Nov. 2nd] wasn’t the most important decision you made… The most important decision you made [on Nov. 2nd], and make every day of your life, as a matter of fact, is whether or not you will follow Jesus.
So, if you’re a liberal blogger who’s up in arms about a reality show dancing competition and its perceived effect on the American political landscape, I’d like to encourage you to find something bigger to live your life for. And, hey, I guess it’s possible – if it turns out that there really is a right-wing Tea Party conspiracy to make sure Bristol Palin wins Dancing with the Stars, well, that kinda makes it even worse, doesn’t it? In that case, I’d like to encourage those people to grow up and find something more important to devote their time to as well.
I do believe that politics are important, in so far as they go. But politics do not have the power to save people. Only Jesus does. So, if the choice comes down to me getting all riled up over Dancing with the Stars because Bristol Palin has made it farther along than she should have (and its possible political implications…), or getting fired up about my relationship with Christ… That’s an easy choice for me. And I hope it is for you, too.
*UPDATE: I’ve watched a few YouTube videos of Bristol Palin dancing now, and she’s really not that great… The voting system is based on audience votes, though, so either people actually like her dancing (not very likely), or they just like her (much, much more likely). Either way, I still doubt that it has anything at all to do with her mother.