It does not make a lick of difference who wins the presidential elections in 2016. The president is largely inconsequential in our lives; don’t get roped into a corrupt political process that thrives on emotional dialog and empty promises.
By the way, this is about as political as I will ever get here on the blog, but this is a topic that I’ve wrestled with discussing for quite some time. This post is not about one political candidate vs. another. It is about putting politics in perspective and retaining focus on what makes the most difference in our lives.
For as long as I can remember, Dooms Day scenarios have flooded the political discourse each election cycle. If Candidate X is elected, then Effect Y will occur. From year to year, these scenarios are almost always the same, but they rarely, if ever, occur.
If they did, we’d all be dead by now.
Politics is a distraction that disorients the population into believing that an elected body of [largely career] politicians will make your life better. Promises are a dime-a-dozen. Strangely, it doesn’t seem to matter whether those promises get fulfilled or not.
Election after election, the cycle continues. The same promises are promised by the same politicians. People continue to lament their “bad fortunes” and wish for better representation. Or more laws. Fewer laws. A better job. More help. Less bureaucracy…all things that politicians promise to fix.
The truth is Washington D.C. doesn’t build societies – we do. Our local governments and communities have a much greater influence over our day to day lives than national politics ever will. Our local cities are where change truly happens – change that can affect our lives.
Not D.C. Not our president. The emotionally-driven issues that our national politicians want us focused on are not the issues that make our lives better or worse.
The laws and ordinances that we live by are largely local. Research them. Get to know your local representatives. Run for local office. Get involved locally…where change can more easily happen.
Don’t look towards a corrupt political system to improve your life
For the most part, the President of the United States is a figurehead, nothing more. The things that improve or destroy your life are the decisions that YOU make in your daily life, not the president. Whoever becomes our next president, I promise that he or she does not care about you. Or your kids. Or your retirement. Not even for a second. No president ever has.
A typical politician’s primary concerns are as follows: Money, Power and Votes.
It is not about you and me. Politicians aren’t sitting in Washington coming up with ways to make our lives easier. In fact, politicians thrive on problems. If this were a perfect world, the need for politicians would disappear. Problems are what keep politicians in office. It is in their best interest to maintain and/or create problems in which they need to “fix”.
Fixing so-called “problems” is how they keep their jobs.
Let’s screw our heads on straight and recognize the true difference-maker in our lives. Here, let’s make it easy by using the classic dating break-up philosophy: It’s not you. It’s me. Now, let’s change a pronoun or two to make it more accurate:
It’s not them. It’s you and me.
The way that we react to the world around us makes a heck of a lot more difference in our lives than the stooge who’s sitting in the White House and playing golf every week. Don’t look to that dude or dudette to improve your life or society around you. Clearly, the system is corrupt, Lord of the Flies style. Not many would argue that point.
Nor this one: Entities that thrive on problems will never improve your life.
How to improve your life in 2016 and beyond
The only person who can improve your life is YOU. Not the president. Not any senator. The buck stops with you and me. As scary as it may sound, we are masters of our own destinies.
How about creating a set of achievable goals to fulfill over the next four years rather than focusing on who will be our next White House resident. How will WE improve our lives? What will WE do to make the next four years the best years ever?
A few suggestions on what to strive for over the next four years:
- Double your net worth
- Learn a new language
- Downsize your home
- Move to a city with a lower cost of living
- Eliminate debt once and for all
- Climb a “14-er”
- Retire early!
Resist the urge to let the next president distract you from focusing on what matters the most in your life. Remain determined. Even if the election doesn’t go your way, it probably won’t matter. Your goals are still achievable. The next president will not – and cannot – prevent us from accomplishing anything that we put our minds to.
Through focus and determination, you will not fail.
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.