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Time was, election season lasted around 6 months before each vote. Then things settled down and normalcy returned. The heated rhetoric slacked off, at least for most people other than the political junkies. We remember those days with fondness.

Now, we have an endless election food fight and even those who prefer their politics in light doses once every 18 months, at most, find it hard to avoid the partisan talk fest. Every hour of every day every issue and breaking news items is presented with the hysterical voice of one proclaiming an incoming disaster of Biblical proportions. Indeed, calling politicians themselves the antichrist is favorite sport for some partisan hacks.

This endless “controversy” and rancor may eventually prevent us from seeing when a real disaster creeps up on us or it may cover up the real crisis of the hour as we angrily debate the fake crises being shovel-fed to our wide-open mouths. We eat it all up like it is the true national pastime.

Is it really necessary and inevitable to have an endless election food fight and can we at any point escape the partisan rancor?

The answer lies within. We can choose to tune it out and not let ourselves be forever drawn into the latest, almost always passing, contrived controversy. We can decide to focus on elections within a few months of each vote, weighing the Party platforms and the candidates based on something more solid than anonymous sources and endless sound-bites.

What does your Party stand for compared to your own true north, comapred to your own beliefs, values,and convictions? By the way, if you don’t know what those are and cannot articulate them, understand that you are easily played by any emotional manipulation anyone wants to use against you. And the airwaves are filled with that! Know your own beliefs, values, and convictions, know why you hold them, know what they mean, from your heart, and be able to articulate them from your heart in your own words.

Too often we see people simply regurgitating sound-bites and narratives fed to them from the outside, all the while proudly boasting that they are “independent” or above the fray. They cannot articulate their own beliefs in their own words or why those beliefs are valid or useful to anyone.

I can tell you that I stand for freedom based on the virtue of our core ideals, on liberty based on the original spirit and intent of the US Bill of Rights, and on independence through self-reliance, a free market meritocracy, and and mutuality. I can tell you what those things mean and why I cherish them. I can compare Party Platforms and candidates with those things and give you my take on which of these things supports what I believe. I know this and do not listen to anything outside of what a Party and a Candidate will do or has done in power.

Is Joe Biden’s son a criminal and did Trump cheat on his taxes? It’s not that these things don’t matter at all, it’s that we cannot know for sure and these things are distractions. The actual things these two men have done in power matter to me: one tends much more toward what I belief in and the other seems hell-bent to go completely against these things I hold dear.

If you let this be about accusations and character when these things won’t matter if someone in power abuses your beliefs and values, then you are off the mark. You are easily misled and manipulated. You have no independence and you cannot think for yourself.

The endless election food fight is something you can watch from afar and not get involved with or it is an unnecessary drama that can suck you in and add stress to your life, which reduces your life span.

What is your true north and what do you believe in? Spend more time figuring that out and less time chasing headlines that, within 72 hours most of the time, will have lost all credibility.

The endless election food fight seems custom-designed by the politicians to keep you in reaction mode, to conceal their magic tricks and slight of hand, all meant to fool you into focusing away from the real heart of every issue. Center yourself on who you are, on what you really believe, on your own interests, and on what you think the truth is. If you do this, you will find more peace and calm in the fake storms and passing fads, you will know who you are voting for and why and nobody will be able to move you with emotional claptrap or fool you with smoke and mirrors.